Neuron visualizations

In my last post I have described what I believe is way to the true artificial intelligence. I started with search for neurons/layers/minicolumns/columns visualization. So I can learn about its organization and possibly function. If I were you I would first study Why Neurons Have Thousands of Synapses so you can get to the level of understanding I have when writing this post :-)


Did you know that similar neuron visualizations does not look like real pyramidal neurons in brain?

Oversimplified neuron

source: WikiMedia

Real neurons used in neocortex looks more like this:

Layers cortex

source: LiveJournal

For me are interesting this facts:

  • axon (visualised as thin line without small perpendicular lines - dendrites) is not single wire, it branches - some branches turns upwards, some goes goes on the same level and one goes downwards
  • dendrite segments (lines with small perpendicular lines - dendrites) are of three types:
    • proximal - dendrite segments on soma (body) or close to it
    • basal - relatively short dendrite segments coming horizontally from soma
    • apical - long dendrites heading upwards

Another visualization may be:

Layers cortex 2

source: William Calvin




Layers 2


Layers 3


Layers 4


Layers 5

source: OxfordJournals

Layers 6

source: OxfordJournals


Columns should represent group of similar features (short lines in visual cortex in image below) and minicolumns single feature (line with angle 45 degrees). Each neocortex region is composed of this. So we may say similar features are grouped.

Columns 1


Visualization of rat’s 4 columns:

Columns 2



  • It seems that there is no strong evidence about minicolumns functionality and even existence
  • It is questionable whether column is strictly divided or there are overlaps
  • It seems that smaller distance between minicolumns is presented in brains suffering by autism

Mini columns 1

source: OxfordJournals

Mini columns 2

source: OxfordJournals

Mini columns 3

source: CorticalChauvinism

Tags:  AI  neuron