1
$\begingroup$

To clarify, which structural area of the brain is the most dense in neuron synapses or connections?

I couldn't find any reliable link on the internet.

$\endgroup$
3
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Do you mean density (synapses/cubic cm) or total number (larger brain areas will likely have more synapses)? And what do you mean with brain area? Functional areas, or structural areas? Telling us why do you want to know this may help the community to place your question in its context, and aid in answering your question. $\endgroup$
    – AliceD
    Apr 5, 2020 at 18:56
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I meant density. I meant structural areas. $\endgroup$ Apr 6, 2020 at 11:26
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @CuriousMind9 please edit your question accordingly. Comments on this site are temporary and will be removed once resolved. $\endgroup$
    – Steven Jeuris
    Apr 7, 2020 at 21:12

1 Answer 1

1
$\begingroup$

The cerebellum is the most densely packed with neurons, but its been difficult to isolate which functional region has the most neurons, and synaptic activity, because functional mapping of the cerebellum is more difficult than that of the cerebral cortex.

First, Wagner and Schnitzner (2017) explain

there had been some hints of a larger role for the cerebellum, but scientists had a hard time following up on those hints in part because the neurons that make up most of the cerebellum are difficult to study. Those neurons, known as granule cells, account for 80 percent of the neurons in the brain – all packed into the cerebellum – but only about 10 percent of its volume. At that density, conventional techniques for recording cell activity don’t work well, and without an effective way of studying granule cells in real time, scientists were left with an incomplete picture of what the cerebellum was really doing.

Related, Essen, Donahue, and Glasser (2018) continue to explain that analysis of cells specific to functional regions (in sub-cortical regions, and in cortex) is necessary, especially to take into consideration change over time in evolution, but measurement has been a challenge

Our analysis of numbers of neurons has so far been restricted to large brain divisions, such as the entire cerebral cortex and the ensemble of brainstem, diencephalon and basal ganglia, but an analysis of the cellular scaling of separate functional cortical areas and the related subcortical structures is underway. Such data should allow us to address important issues such as mosaic evolution through concerted changes in the functionally related components of distributed systems, and the presumed increase in relative number of neurons in systems that increase in importance (Barton and Harvey, 2000 ; Barton, 2006 ).

$\endgroup$

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.