Acta Stereologica Acta Stereologica -  Volume 1 (1982)  Number 2 - Stereology 82 - Sheffield - Dec. 1982 

The concept of 'neuromorphotaxis' based on a minimisation principle. A case for the critical analysis of biological variation

Vyvyan Howard
Department of Human Anatomy, University of Liverpool, P.O. Box 147, Liverpool, L69 3BX, U.K.
Laurence Scales
Computer Laboratory, University of Liverpool, U.K.

Abstract

The size distributions of populations of neuronal somata, dendrite internode branch lengths and synapse areas are presented. These all show a positive skew and in some cases this is pronounced.

Arguments are put forward to explain this consistent finding. In general the tendency of biological systems to optimise their size on a minimising principle will be a contributory factor. In particular the excitable elements of the central nervous system possess the additional feature that size controls their physiological sensitivity and this is advanced as a major factor in the evolution of the experimental findings. The estimation of the majority of these measurements is possible only by the use of stereological techniques.

To cite this article

Vyvyan Howard & Laurence Scales, «The concept of 'neuromorphotaxis' based on a minimisation principle. A case for the critical analysis of biological variation», Acta Stereologica [En ligne], Volume 1 (1982), Number 2 - Stereology 82 - Sheffield - Dec. 1982, 241-252 URL : https://popups.ulg.ac.be/0351-580x/index.php?id=4431.