George Paxinos and his colleagues at Neuroscience Research Australia in November 2018, discovered new part Endorestiforum Nucleus in the human brain that might have existed for the last 30 years and may also be unique only to humans.
Paxinos and his team named this part of brain as Endorestiforum Nucleus. It is named so because it is found within Inferior Cerebellar Peduncle (an area in the human brain that is responsible for our posture and body balance).
The part of brain was unable to be seen before due to lack of imaging techniques; Paxinos detected its presence almost three decades ago. It is actually present at the base of brain where spinal cord meets the brain.
The discovery of this new brain part was possible through the new staining and imaging techniques. The stains being used in the discovery were able to specify and recognize the special cell products;
In case of neurons the cell products being examined are neurotransmitters. This helped the researchers to discover the new neuron gaps and the different types of chemicals being produced in that particular area.
“The Endorestiforum nucleus is all too evident by its dense staining for the enzyme acetylcholinesterase, all the more evident because the surrounding areas are negative.” –Paxinos.
Apart from the staining techniques, its presence was also predicted by Anterolateral Cordotomy (a surgery involving the removal or cutting of the spinal cord pathways to relieve incurable pain).
Endorestiforum nucleus is seen to be absent in rhesus monkeys and is considered special to humans among all the other primates. According to Paxinos, there are some features that need to be understood about the human brain; including the mystery of the large size of human brain.
The inferior cerebellar peduncle is a large part of the human brain that carries important sensory and motor information between the brain, the spinal cord and also cerebellum.
The Endorestiforum nucleus being the part of inferior cerebellar region peduncle is supposed to be involved in motor control. It is actually a group of neurons.
“I can only guess as to its function, but given the part of the brain where it has been found, it might be involved in fine motor control” –George Paxinos.
This may help the researchers and the neuroscientists in the detailed study and diagnosis for Parkinson’s disease and other motor neuron damages.
The human brains are twice as big as that of chimpanzees and the larger brain size may attribute to the presence of complex neuronal pathways for the maintained and coordinated movements of the human body; the Endorestiforum nucleus maybe one of them.
“I cannot imagine a chimpanzee playing the guitar as dexterously as us, even if they liked to make music.” –Paxinos (ScienceAlert)