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The discovery of dendritic spines by Cajal.

Research paper by Rafael R Yuste

Indexed on: 09 May '15Published on: 09 May '15Published in: Frontiers in neuroanatomy



Abstract

Dendritic spines were considered an artifact of the Golgi method until a brash Spanish histologist, Santiago Ramón y Cajal, bet his scientific career arguing that they were indeed real, correctly deducing their key role in mediating synaptic connectivity. This article reviews the historical context of the discovery of spines and the reasons behind Cajal's obsession with them, all the way till his deathbed.