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John Allman is a neuroscientist at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California and a well recognized expert on primates, cognition and evolutionary neuroscience.
In 2000, Allman's laboratory reported indentification of a class of neurons - large spindle-shaped cells - unique to humans and our closest relatives, the great apes. The spindle neurons were first located in layer V of the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), and later found in the frontoinsular cortex.
Spindle neurons may develop abnormally in people with autistic disorders, and abnormalities may also be linked to schizophrenia and Alzheimer's disease, but research into these correlations is at a very early stage.
Allman's team has reported reduced ACC size and metabolic activity in autistic patients, and activity of the ACC is also reduced in patients diagnosed with attention deficit disorder (ADD) and depression, whereas ACC activity is increased in patients with obsessive-compulsive, phobic, post-traumatic stress, and anxiety disorders. The ACC is largely responsible for relaying waves of neural signals from deep within the brain to far flung regions, including Brodmann area 10.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "John_Allman". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|