Cerebellar plasticity: modification of Purkinje cell structure by differential rearing in monkeys

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Science  12 Oct 1979:
Vol. 206, Issue 4415, pp. 227-229
DOI: 10.1126/science.113873


Dendritic branching in Purkinje and granule cells and the diameters of Purkinje cell somas were compared in several cerebellar areas of monkeys reared in isolation, with social experience, or in a large colony. In the colony-reared monkeys, spiny branchlets of Purkinje cells were more extensive in the paraflocculus and the nodulus than they were in the other two groups. Granule cell dendritic branching in the paraflocculus and nodulus did not differ across groups. In addition, Purkinje cell somas were larger in the uvula and the nodulus of the colony animals than in the other groups. These data indicate that the social and physical environment during development influences the morphology of cerebellar Purkinje cells.

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