The impact of recent stereological advances on quantitative studies of the nervous system

J Neurosci Methods. 1986 Oct;18(1-2):39-78. doi: 10.1016/0165-0270(86)90112-3.


The usefulness of a number of new stereological principles for unbiased estimation of particle number and sizes and sampling of particles is illustrated together with a novel principle for unbiased estimation of anisotropic surfaces. The examples include descriptions of estimators of neurone and synapse number and sizes, synapse gradients, neurone point patterns in three-dimensional space, capillary surface area, and perikarya volumes. A major advantage of the methods is the possibility to carry out the estimation procedures in specified, well-characterized regions or layers of the brain. Some general statistical and stereological problems are briefly discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Capillaries / anatomy & histology
  • Cell Count / methods
  • Cerebellar Cortex / anatomy & histology
  • Cerebral Cortex / analysis
  • Histological Techniques
  • Nervous System / anatomy & histology*
  • Nervous System / blood supply
  • Neuroanatomy / methods*
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Rats
  • Synapses