Purkinje cells, seen above, are a unique type of neuron found in the cerebellum. Easily distinguished by their complex network of dendrites, in 1832 they became the first type of neuron to be identified by scientists. These cells help control movement by regulating the activity of other cells by releasing GABA, a neurotransmitter that can suppress signals from other neurons. The orange Purkinje cell displays a healthy spray of dendrites. The blue cell, on the other hand, is missing genes needed to prevent the dendrites from overlapping on themselves.
Michael W. Richardson
Michael W. Richardson is a writer and editor based in Brooklyn, New York, covering topics ranging from the brain and behavior to the environment.
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