We are still discovering new regions of the brain. Image Credit: CC 2.0 Andrew Mason
A neuroscientist has identified a previously unknown part of the brain that appears to be unique to humans.
Discovered by Professor George Paxinos from Neuroscience Research Australia, the new region, which has been named the endorestiform nucleus, is found within the inferior cerebellar peduncle which is responsible for integrating sensory and motor information.
Professor Paxinos had first suspected its existence decades ago but has only now been able to confirm it thanks to advances in medical imaging technology.
Exactly what this new region does however continues to remain a mystery.
"The endorestiform nucleus is intriguing because it seems to be absent in the rhesus monkey and other animals that we have studied," he said.
"This region could be what makes humans unique besides our larger brain size."
It is hoped that further studies of this new region could help scientists to develop new treatments for degenerative brain conditions such as Parkinson's disease and motor neurons disease.