“The brain is a more diverse forest of bristling nodes and branching energies than even Ramón y Cajal* could have imagined.”
*Spanish neuroanatomist Santiago and Nobel Prize winner over 100 years ago who illustrated how neurons are responsible for the way we walk, talk and exist. “On Monday (27/08/2018), an international team of researchers introduced the world to a new kind of neuron, which, at this point, is believed to exist only in the human brain.
The long nerve fibers known as axons of these densely bundled cells bulge in a way that reminded their discoverers of a rose without its petals—so much that they named them “rose hip cells.” Described in the latest issue of Nature Neuroscience, these new neurons might use their specialized shape to control the flow of information from one region of the brain to another.”
“Neurons come in two basic flavors: Excitatory cells send information to the cells next to them, while inhibitory cells slow down or stop excitatory cells from firing.
Rose hip cells belong to this latter type, and based on their physiology, seem to be a particularly potent current-curber.”
“It’s too early to say that this is a completely unique cell type because we haven’t looked in other species yet, but it really highlights the fact that we need to be careful about assuming that the human brain is just a scaled-up version of a mouse.”
Adds Lein – Ed Lein, an investigator at the Allen Institute for Brain Science and one of the researchers involved in this study. To read about this study in more depth, click here. This article is an excerpt of the original publication by Megan Molteni on Wired.com.