Vol. 34, N 1

Quantification of cortical neurons: a neuroanatomical myth in neuroscience


KEYWORDS: cortex brain, neuron, quantification of neurons, neuroanatomy, neuroscience.

ABSTRACT: The objective was to analyze whether there was a definite number of cerebral cortical neurons for humans. Methodology: data was examined for the total number of brain neurons in the literature related to the field of neuroscience. This suggested that the human cerebral cortex has a large number of neurons whose value changes with the life cycle due to several factors that lead to have an indefinite number. Discussion: an analysis based on the literature showed the main factors influencing the total number of cortical neurons such as neurogenesis, apoptosis during life cycle, gender and pathological conditions. The inconsistent assessment of the number of neurons in the human cortex has been discussed by several authors, emphasizing that the values that have been displayed in the literature are presumably uncertain and are based on the views of some authors or the conceptions of others without carrying out replicable scientific studies. The above described has exhibited variable and inconsistent values in different texts about this issue. It has been concluded that the total number of cortical neurons varies due to diverse factors that play a role in determining the number of neurons in the human cerebral cortex.