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Neuroscience. 2005;136(3):715-28.

No postnatal doubling of number of neurons in human Broca's areas (Brodmann areas 44 and 45)? A stereological study.

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  • 1Netherlands Institute for Brain Research, Graduate School Neurosciences Amsterdam, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, Meibergdreef 33, 1105 AZ Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


In this study we explored whether a postnatal doubling of the total number of neurons occurs in the human Brodmann areas 44 and 45 (Broca's area). We describe the most recent error prediction formulae and their application for the modern stereological estimators for volume and number of neurons. We estimated the number of neurons in 3D optical disector probes systematically random sampled throughout the entire Brodmann areas (BA) 44 and 45 in developing and young adult cases. In the relatively small number of male and female cases studied no substantial postnatal increase in total number of neurons occurred in areas 44 and 45; the volume of these areas reached adult values around 7 years. In addition, we did find indications that a shift from a right-over-left to a left-over-right asymmetry may occur in the volume of BA 45 during postnatal development. No major asymmetry in total number of neurons in BA 44 and 45 was detected.

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