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What is Sholl distance?

Posted: Fri May 27, 2005 11:17 am
by ted
On 12/10/2004 Kazuyuki Ohgushi <> wrote:
Could anyone tell me the meaning of "Sholl distance" ?
There is no web page using "Sholl distance" in Japanese.

Posted: Fri May 27, 2005 11:19 am
by ted
On 12/10/2004 Guy Major <gmajor@Princeton.EDU> wrote:
scholl plots are morphological branching diagrams with dendrites straightened out
we have made physical and "morphotonic" (resistivity free length) and
electrotonic versions
see Bannister Larkman 1995
Larkman et al J Comp Neurol 1992

*9: * Bannister NJ, Larkman AU.
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Dendritic morphology of CA1 pyramidal neurones from the rat hippocampus: I.
Branching patterns.
J Comp Neurol. 1995 Sep 11;360(1):150-60.
PMID: 7499560 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

*: * Larkman AU, Major G, Stratford KJ, Jack JJ.
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Dendritic morphology of pyramidal neurones of the visual cortex of the rat. IV:
Electrical geometry.
J Comp Neurol. 1992 Sep 8;323(2):137-52.
PMID: 1401253 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

see citations in above for original Scholl papers

Posted: Fri May 27, 2005 11:21 am
by ted
On 12/10/2005 Mickey London <> wrote:
Please see: ... llAnalysis

Sholl analysis is one quantitative measure of the size and shape of a dendritic tree. A series of concentric circles is drawn around the center of a neuron. Then, for each circle, the number of times the tree intersects that circle is counted, and then from that estimate the number of dendrites per unit area (take number of intersections, divide by the area of each annulus) is plotted against distance. This should approximately produce an exponential decay.

Another thing you can do is count the number of branch points in each annular region (= the space in between two of the concentric circles).

(image from contentBased.html)

Further reading ... /sholl.htm

Sholl, DA (1953) Dendritic Organization in the Neurons of the Visual and Motor Cortices of the Cat. J. Anat. 87:387-406

Posted: Fri May 27, 2005 11:22 am
by ted
On 12/10/2004 Vasco Galhardo <> wrote:
I believe you are speaking about a morphometric measure of dendritic branching that is usually called Sholl Technique. You can see the original description in his paper:
Sholl DA (1953) Dendritic organization in the neurons of the visual and motor cortices of the cat.
J Anat 87: 387-406.

I have used it in a paper:
Galhardo V, Lima D (1999) Structural characterization of marginal (lamina I) spinal cord neurons in the cat. A Golgi study. J Comp Neurol 414: 315-333.

At the time I wrote a small VB5 program to calculate Sholl from scanned images, but I don't have it anymore.

Posted: Fri May 27, 2005 11:25 am
by ted
On 12/10/2004 Andrew Reid <> wrote:
Sholl distance is defined in this paper: ... 20distance'
as the "average Euclidean distance of a compartment from the soma".
I assume this refers to mathematical discretization of the cell into
equal-length compartments, which is the model utilized by NEURON.

It is defined in this paper: ... l/12/4/395
as the "number of axonal intersections as a function of distance from the
soma"... not entirely certain what is meant by axonal intersections...

The original text by Sholl is (as referenced in the latter paper): Sholl DA
(1956) The organization of the cerebral cortex. London: Methuen.