Dendritic architecture of the von Economo neurons.
The von Economo neurons are one of the few known specializations to hominoid cortical microcircuitry. Here, using a Golgi preparation of a human postmortem brain, we describe the dendritic architecture of this unique population of neurons. We have found that, in contrast to layer 5 pyramidal neurons, the von Economo neurons have sparse dendritic trees and symmetric apical and basal components. This result provides the first detailed anatomical description of a neuron type unique to great apes and humans.