Dendritic branching of pyramidal cells in the visual cortex of the nocturnal owl monkey: a fractal analysis

Herbert Jelinek, Guy Elston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The branching structure of neurones is thought to influence patterns of connectivity and how inputs are integrated within the arbor. Recent studies have revealed a remarkable degree of variation in the branching structure of pyramidal cells in the cerebral cortex of diurnal primates, suggesting regional specialization in neuronal function. Such specialization in pyramidal cell structure may be important for various aspects of visual function, such as object recognition and color processing. To better understand the functional role of regional variation in the pyramidal cell phenotype in visual processing, we determined the complexity of the dendritic branching pattern of pyramidal cells in visual cortex of the nocturnal New World owl monkey. We used the fractal dilation method to quantify the branching structure of pyramidal cells in the primary visual area (V1), the second visual area (V2) and the caudal and rostral subdivisions of inferotemporal cortex (ITc and ITr, respectively), which are often associated with color processing. We found that, as in diurnal monkeys, there was a trend for cells of increasing fractal dimension with progression through these cortical areas. The increasing complexity paralleled a trend for increasing symmetry. That we found a similar trend in both diurnal and nocturnal monkeys suggests that it was a feature of a common anthropoid ancestor.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)391-396
Number of pages6
JournalFractals
Volume11
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2003

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