The estimation of neuronal population density by a robust distance method

W. A. Aherne, P. J. Diggle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A new 'nearest-neighbour' or 'distance' method of estimating neurone population density is introduced. The method was originally developed for ecological studies but can be imported into histology without significant modification; changes in population density can be estimated by inverting the measure of area per unit cell (the so-called mean area). Its advantages include tests of randomness for the spatial distribution of the cells at issue and a robustness which can tolerate some departure from a random distribution pattern. To illustrate how the method is applied estimates of neurone density, in terms of 'mean area' per cell-point, are made on a montage tracing of the human cerebellar dentate nucleus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)285-293
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Microscopy
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1978
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation

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