The History of Quantitative Neuroanatomy

  • Joseph J. Capowski


For several centuries neuroanatomists have been looking at tissue in the light microscope, describing what they see in words, and drawing pictures of the structures that they see contained in the tissue. Microscope equipment and viewing techniques have developed over the decades, as have histological procedures for preparing the tissue for the researcher’s examination. Independently, the computer field has been blossoming, but at a much more rapid pace. The pressures of World War II caused the first digital computers to be developed for practical use. Through the 1950s and 1960s, large computers were developed for military, banking, and census work. These machines were far too expensive and cantankerous for a biological research laboratory. In the late 1960s, however, the laboratory computer began to appear at a price within the range of well-funded research laboratories. At this time, the two fields, computers and biological research, began to merge. And in the last 20 years, the laboratory computer has been applied to almost every laboratory task. This book describes the computer’s application to neuroanatomy and its role in collecting and analyzing the shapes and functions of anatomic structures.


Computer Memory Camera Lucida Artistic Skill External Image Neuron Tree 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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For Further Reading

  1. McKenzie, J. D., Jr., and B. A. Vogt (1976). An instrument for light microscopic analysis of three-dimensional neuronal morphology. Brain Res. 111: 411–415.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Glenn, L. L., and R. E. Burke (1981). A simple and inexpensive method for 3-dimensional visualization of neurons reconstructed from serial sections. J. Neurosci. Methods 4: 127–134.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Haberly, L. B., and J. M. Bower (1982). Graphical methods for three-dimensional rotation of complex axonal arborizations. J. Neurosci. Methods 6: 75–84.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph J. Capowski
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Eutectic Electronics, Inc.RaleighUSA
  2. 2.The University of North CarolinaChapel HillUSA

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