Neuroanatomy of the Grizzly Bear


Progress on Grizzly Bear Brain Atlas

Posted by George Stevenson on June 10, 2011 at 12:47 PM

Greetings Friends,

Our Grizzly Bear Brain Atlas is nearing completion.

Surface anatomy of the Bear brain surfaces has been followed with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the entire brain of Ursus arctos horribilis, and magnetic resonance of the arteries (MRA) of the black bear's brain (Ursus arctos americanus).

This MRI neuro-imaging of the bear's brain has been complemented by computerized axial tomography of the bears' (grizzly, black and cave) skull structures. Three-dimensional reconstructions have allowed delineation of the "skull base" and the foramina.

The histological anatomy has been achieved by Nissl and Weil stains performed by NeuroScience Associates, NSA Labs, Knoxville, Tennessee. Histological studies of the nuclear complexes, cerebrum, cerebellum, and brain stem have been perfomed in addition to histo-chemical stains and tract dissection. In addition, Diffusion Transmission Imaging, showing the pathways of various tracts has been completed, courtesy of University of Florida's McKnight Brain Institute.

We also have a better understanding of the bear species from a paleontologic stand point, our gratitude to Dr. David Webb.

Various Fish & Game modalities and National Parks (Grand Teton, Yellowstone, and Glacier National Park, Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park) and Veterinary schools, neuroscience departments, Smithsonian, Denver, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology Washington D.C., Museum of Nature & Science, Field Museum, Mammal Museum at University of New Mexico and hospitals from various states have been most helpful.

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Reply Stephen Stringham
6:58 AM on April 3, 2013 
Hello, I am a student of bear behavior -- i.e., ethology. I have been amazed at their manual dexterity and sensory acuteness. Hence, I am searching the literature to learn what is known about underlying neurosensory anatomy. Back in 1972, during my grad student days, my mentor Gordon Burghardt did some of the first research on bear ethology. He noted: ?The bear's unique carnivore brain has unusual features which are remarkably similar to the primate brain (Papez 1929). These include the ursine lozenge, the sylvian fissure, and structures which in gross appearance resemble the primate temporal lobe which is involved in complex sequences of behavior and memory.? I'm especially interested in what has been learned then about parallels between ursid and primate brains.
Reply Jameshoatt
1:29 AM on November 9, 2017 
Reply Euvic_Hen
12:17 PM on August 22, 2018