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Musical representation of Dendritic spine distribution: A new exploratory tool

AuthorsToharia, P.; Morales, J.; De Juan, O.; Fernaud, I.; Rodríguez, A.; De Felipe, Javier
KeywordsAudio analysis
Cerebral cortex
Pyramidal cells
Dendritic spine morphology
Music translation
Issue Date2014
PublisherHumana Press
CitationNeuroinformatics 12: 341- 353 (2014)
AbstractDendritic spines are small protrusions along the dendrites of many types of neurons in the central nervous system and represent the major target of excitatory synapses. For this reason, numerous anatomical, physiological and computational studies have focused on these structures. In the cerebral cortex the most abundant and characteristic neuronal type are pyramidal cells (about 85 % of all neurons) and their dendritic spines are the main postsynaptic target of excitatory glutamatergic synapses. Thus, our understanding of the synaptic organization of the cerebral cortex largely depends on the knowledge regarding synaptic inputs to dendritic spines of pyramidal cells. Much of the structural data on dendritic spines produced by modern neuroscience involves the quantitative analysis of image stacks from light and electron microscopy, using standard statistical and mathematical tools and software developed to this end. Here, we present a new method with musical feedback for exploring dendritic spine morphology and distribution patterns in pyramidal neurons. We demonstrate that audio analysis of spiny dendrites with apparently similar morphology may >sound> quite different, revealing anatomical substrates that are not apparent from simple visual inspection. These morphological/music translations may serve as a guide for further mathematical analysis of the design of the pyramidal neurons and of spiny dendrites in general. © 2014 The Author(s).
Identifiersdoi: 10.1007/s12021-013-9195-0
issn: 1539-2791
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