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New Type of Brain Cell May Provide Insight into Mechanism of Human Consciousness

Hungarian researchers, in collaboration with the Allen Institute for Brain Science, a Seattle-based nonprofit, discovered a new type of brain cell that has not yet been observed in any other organism.

The cells — named “rosehip” neurons — feature a large rosehip-shaped axonal bouton and compact arborization. Located throughout layer 1 of the auditory and visual cortex, these cells function as inhibitory interneurons. Discovered in postmortem human brain samples, the cells are absent in rodents, and it is not currently known if they exist in other species. This discovery will likely reinvigorate discussions on the issue of translatability of research conducted in rodent models into human biology.

Click here to read more about this discovery in Nature.