A little region of the human brain became a big center of interest for neuroscientists


It’s a tiny grouping of brain cells discovered 28 years ago and named “the Endorestiform nucleus” because of its location at the base of the brain, near the point where the brain connects with the spinal cord. It’s about the size of a pea and sits at the back of the skull. “One intriguing thing about this endorestiform nucleus is that it seems to be present only in the human, we have not been able to detect it in the rhesus monkey or the marmoset that we have studied,” explained Australian neuroscientist professor George Paxinos, a researcher at the Neuroscience Research Australia-NeuRA in Sydney. He said better detection and imaging methods made it possible to prove its existence.


The early suggestion is that this bundle of neurons may be responsible for fine motor control (as our unique ability to play piano or perform surgery), dictating our ability to strum the guitar, write and play sports and others. “What it remains to be done is to determine the function of this newly discovered brain region. Now that it has been mapped, it will be possible for it to be studied by the wider research community,” brain mapper prof. Paxinos expressed hope. Professor Paxinos has spent more than 40 years using a 4B pencil to hand-draw extraordinarily detailed maps of the human brain. His brain atlases are among the most-cited publications in neuroscience and are used in surgery.


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