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  Von economo neurons in the anterior insula of the macaque monkey

Evrard, H., Forro, T., & Logothetis, N. (2012). Von economo neurons in the anterior insula of the macaque monkey. Neuron, 74(3), 482-489. doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2012.03.003.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0013-B776-6 Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0001-8853-8
Genre: Journal Article

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Evrard, HC1, 2, Author              
Forro, T1, 2, Author              
Logothetis, NK1, 2, Author              
Affiliations:
1Department Physiology of Cognitive Processes, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society, ou_1497798              
2Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society, Spemannstrasse 38, 72076 Tübingen, DE, ou_1497794              

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 Abstract: The anterior insular cortex (AIC) and its unique spindle-shaped von Economo neuron (VEN) emerged within the last decade as having a potentially major role in self-awareness and social cognition in humans. Invasive examination of the VEN has been precluded so far by the assumption that this neuron occurs among primates exclusively in humans and great apes. Here, we demonstrate the presence of the VEN in the agranular anterior insula of the macaque monkey. The morphology, size, laminar distribution, and proportional distribution of the monkey VEN suggest that it is at least a primal anatomical homolog of the human VEN. This finding sheds new light on the phylogeny of the VEN and AIC. Most importantly, it offers new and much-needed opportunities to investigate the primal connections and physiology of a neuron that could be crucial for human self-awareness, social cognition, and related neuropsychiatric disorders.

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 Dates: 2012-05
 Publication Status: Published in print
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 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2012.03.003
BibTex Citekey: EvrardFL2012_2
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Title: Neuron
Source Genre: Journal
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Pages: - Volume / Issue: 74 (3) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 482 - 489 Identifier: -