The box-counting method for calculating the fractal dimension (D) with the ImageJ 1.20s software is used as a tool for quantitative analysis of the neuronal morphology in the fish brain. The fractal dimension was determined for several types of neurons in the brain of two teleost species, Pholidapus dybowskii and Oncorhynchus keta. These results were compared with those obtained for some neurons of the human brain. The fractal (fractional) dimension (D), as a quantitative index of filling of two-dimensional space by the black and white image of a cell, is shown to vary from 1.22 to 1.72 depending on the type of neuron. The fractal dimension reaches its maximum in less specialized neurons that carry out a number of different functions. On the other hand, highly specialized neurons display a relatively low fractal dimension. Thus, the fractal dimension serves as a numerical measure of the spatial complexity of the neuron and correlates with the morphofunctional organization of the cell.
Russian Journal of Marine Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 18, 2004
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