Research studies on the human brain have been a never-ending process where scientists continue to gain intricate insights on its critical parts and functions. In a new study, a human brain cartography expert has made new discoveries of a hidden region in the human brain which may be present only in human, making our species unique.
Professor George Paxinos from Neuroscience Research Australia is the first to identify the new region in the brain and has named it as the ‘Endorestiform Nucleus’. According to the researchers, the new findings could help scientists in their research for treatment to cure neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s and motor-neuron disease.
Existence of the Endorestiform Nucleus, located near the brain-spinal cord junction, has been suspected by the researchers over last three decades but were unable to see it. Now, better staining and imagining techniques have enabled its visualization. Paxinos reported: an intriguing fact about the new region in the brain is that it is not found in studies of rhesus monkey and other animals. According to him, this region could be what makes humans unique from other species besides having a large-sized brain.
The Endorestiform Nucleus lies within the brain’s inferior cerebellar peduncle that is typically associated with the processing of sensory and motor information and helps in tuning posture, balance, and fine motor movements. Prof. Paxinos explained that considering the part of the brain where the Endorestiform Nucleus has been located, it might be involved in fine motor control.
Over the years, comprehensive understanding of the brain structure and its connectivity have been the main objective of major breakthroughs in the field of neuroscience. Many neuroscientists working on psychiatric and neurological diseases already use brain atlases developed by Prof. Paxinos which have promising applications in neurosurgery and in identification of the brain structures.
According to Professor Peter Schofield, CEO of NeuRa, Prof Paxinos’ brain maps show intricate connections of the human brain and spinal cord, providing a crucial framework for scientists to test hypotheses from synaptic functions to treatment for neurological diseases. Moreover, the new discovery could potentially help explore treatments for motor neuron and Parkinson’s disease, he added.
Apart from his latest book on the new findings, Prof. Paxinose has authored 52 books of highly detailed maps of the brain and the most cited publication in neuroscience.