IUBio

What are the six different types of human neurons?

P C Knox pck at castle.ed.ac.uk
Mon Apr 13 08:33:24 EST 1992


bill at NSMA.AriZonA.EdU (Bill Skaggs) writes:

>In article <1992Apr8.151118.4780 at watmath.waterloo.edu> 
>mwtilden at watmath.waterloo.edu (Mark W. Tilden) writes:
>>
>>During a recent neural-networks lecture, it was pointed out that
>>comp-sci types only model one type of human neuron, where animal (human)
>>bodys contain no less than six different types.

>  I doubt that you could look this up, because it's nonsense.
>Animal bodies contain literally hundreds of different types of
>neuron.  Even if you only distinguish on the basis of the
>chemical neurotransmitter used, there are still at least several
>dozen different types.  The functional consequences of these
>differences have hardly begun to be explored by neural network
>theorists.

>	-- Bill
Interestingly I'm sure there was an article I read in a recent TINS
suggesting that there was a lot to be gained to setting up a new branch
of Neuroscience concerning the taxonomy of neurons. This does indicate
the complexities of the subject though. As well as dealing with types of
neuron in vertebrate nervous system, it would deal with invertebrate
neurons.
	Mind you not withstanding all the discussion on this topic,
simple classifications have been atempted, such as classing neurons as
bipolar etc on the basis of structure. The problem is that at the end of
the day such approaches surely amount to little more than what Lord
Rutherford would have called stamp collecting.

Paul C. Knox



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