Australian Neuroscientist Discovers Hidden Region in Human Brain: Endorestiform Nucleus

Nov 23, 2018 by News Staff / Source

Professor George Paxinos from Neuroscience Research Australia has discovered a hidden region of the human brain.

The endorestiform nucleus is found near the brain-spinal cord junction. Image credit: George Paxinos, Neuroscience Research Australia.

The newly-discovered region, named the endorestiform nucleus, is located within the inferior cerebellar peduncle, an area that integrates sensory and motor information to refine our posture, balance and fine motor movements.

Professor Paxinos suspected its existence three decades ago but has only now been able to see it due to better staining and imaging techniques.

“The endorestiform nucleus is intriguing because it seems to be absent in the rhesus monkey and other animals that we have studied,” Professor Paxinos said.

“This region could be what makes humans unique besides our larger brain size.”

“I can only guess as to its function, but given the part of the brain where it has been found, it might be involved in fine motor control,” he added.

The discovery of the region is detailed in Professor Paxinos’ latest book titled ‘Human Brainstem: Cytoarchitecture, Chemoarchitecture, Myeloarchitecture.’

It may help researchers explore cures for diseases including Parkinson’s disease and motor neuron disease.

Neuroscientists researching neurological or psychiatric diseases use Professor Paxinos’ maps to guide their work.

Professor Paxinos’ brain atlases are heralded as the most accurate for the identification of brain structures and are also used in neurosurgery.

“Professor Paxinos’ atlases showing detailed morphology and connections of the human brain and spinal cord, provide a critical framework for researchers to test hypotheses from synaptic function to treatments for diseases of the brain,” said Professor Peter Schofield, CEO at Neuroscience Research Australia.


George Paxinos, Teri Furlong & Charles Watson. Human Brainstem: Cytoarchitecture, Chemoarchitecture, Myeloarchitecture. Academic Press, 2019; ISBN: 9780128141847