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Additional info for Anatomy of the Cortex: Statistics and Geometry
Thickenings of two pieces of cell membrane in close apposition without the presence of vesicles were occasionally observed and recorded, but not included in the counts. The size of the synaptic junctions was measured as indicated in Fig. 13. Their "real" size was computed from the statistics of their sizes on the electron micrographs by means of the formulas (6) and (7), Chapter 3. The thickness of the section which enters in these formulas was taken as 50 nm, rather than 70 nm, taking into account the fact that synapses can only be recognized when a sufficiently large segment is contained in the section.
E. the area of the electron micrograph not showing neural or glial cell bodies, over the entire area. Except for layer I, which is almost exclusively neuropil, the values are between 80 and 90%. In this the blood vessels have not yet been considered. Their part of the volume was determined on micrographs at lower magnification and was found to be 4%. According to a wellknown theorem of stereology (Underwood 1970), in a volume consisting of several distinct fractions, the relative proportions of these 40 Chapter 6 fractions appearing on sections are the same as those in the volume.
The size of synapses in different layers of the three areas is remarkably constant. The size of the symbols reflects the difference between Eqs. (6) and (7), C hapter 3 4 l a rea 6 a r ea 17 2 la ye r Ill IV v VI fig. 15. De nsit y of syna pses in different layers of the three areas. The size nf the sy nzhols ind icates upper and lower limits. (Schiiz and Palm 1989) 33 Density of Synapses Figure 14 shows the results. The size of the synaptic junctions does not seem to vary much between different layers and areas, the values for the different samples ranging from 320 to 380 nm.