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von Economo neurons

[von Economo neuron]

abbr. VEN. These specialized neurons (named after the Austrian neuroanatomist Constantin von Economo (1876-1931); see: Haas, 2002) are atypical projection neurons that differ from typical pyramidal neurons by having large spindle-shaped perikaryons and unique and equally thick basal and apical dendrites (von Economo, 1926; Seeley et al, 2012). Cells with this morphology had been noted earlier by Betz (1874, 1881) and Ramón y Cajal (1900, 1904) (for historical perspective see also: Seeley et al, 2012). In some publications the cells are simply being referred to as spindle cells or spindle neurons (Nimchinsky et al, 1995, 1999).

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