The human brain is still a mysterious organ that has surprised scientists since they started their earliest investigations. The newest of these surprises is a new type of neuron, with a rare rose-shaped appearance that gave the newly discovered neuronal cells the name of Rosehip.
No wonder this breakthrough is full of specificities, not just that it is about a new neural cell that, at least for now, has only been found in humans, but also that two different groups of scientists have encountered these structures in two separate studies.
In the end, both teams agreed to combine their efforts to carry out research on this new type of neurons. The study findings were published in the journal Nature Neuroscience.
The new kind of neurons was discovered within the brain cells of two men, and as soon as the researchers involved in this new study looked at the structure of the new neural cell, they learned that it was a completely unknown cell, so they started to analyze everything about it.
A new type of neurons found by scientists seems to be particular to humans
The new kind of neurons has been localized in the outside part of the cortex, called “Layer 1,” and where it represents a low percentage of the entire nerve cells. This part of the brain is associated with consciousness, an area that is considered to be exclusively human.
As for its functioning, the so-called Rosehip neuronal cells have been identified as inhibitory nerve cells, whose purpose is to halt the activity of other brain cells.
The scientists pointed out that inhibitory cells, similarly to the excitatory cells, are well-documented, both in the brains of humans and in the brains of other animals.
However, the new neurons make neural connections that have never been previously studied. More specifically, they bind to pyramidal neurons, a type of excitatory nerve cells that are found further down in a thicker layer of the neocortex.