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Quantication of Anterogradely Stained Axons in the Cerebral Cortex


Chaimow,  D
Department High-Field Magnetic Resonance, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

Schüz,  A
Department Physiology of Cognitive Processes, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Chaimow, D., & Schüz, A. (2004). Quantication of Anterogradely Stained Axons in the Cerebral Cortex. Poster presented at 7th Tübingen Perception Conference (TWK 2004), Tübingen, Germany.

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One of the main features of the cerebral cortex is its vast internal connectivity. Understanding this connectivity will most likely play a major part in understanding cortical function. Theoretical studies based on quantitative neuroanatomical data are one important approach to reveal fundamental processing principles in this complex structure. In order to provide such data, we are studying cortico-cortical connections in the mouse cortex by way of the anterograde tracer BDA (biotinylated dextran amine). One of the aims of this study is to gain knowledge about the strength of connections between distant places in the cortex. The number of synapses one region makes with another is closely related to the total length of axonal ramications the projecting neurons make in that terminal region. This implies that the density of these axonal ramications reects the inuence from the injection site onto this region. Therefore, the length and density of labeled axons in a terminal region is a measure of the connectivity from the site of injection to this region. A method was developed for estimating axonal length density (length per volume) of stained axons in regions of termination using stereological priciples (i.e. deriving higher dimension features based on measurements made in a low dimension). The method consists mainly of counting intersections between labeled axons and specially designed test lines, providing a simple quantication of tracing results.