Rare Neurons Found in Monkeysâ€™ Brains
A mysterious kind of nerve cell that has been linked to empathy, self-awareness, and even consciousness resides in Old World monkeys. The finding, published in Neuron, extends the domain of the neurons beyond humans, great apes and other large-brained creatures and will now allow scientists to study the habits of a neuron that may be key to human self-awareness.
â€œPeople have been reluctant to say, but want to believe, that these neurons might be the neural correlate of consciousness,â€ said neuroscientist and psychiatrist Hugo Critchley of the University of Sussex in England. Finding the neurons in macaques, which can be studied in laboratories, â€œopens up the possibility to study directly the role of these cells,â€ he said.