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Recent Developments in Neuroanatomical Terminology

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Front. Neuroanat. | doi: 10.3389/fnana.2018.00099

Auditory nomenclature: combining name recognition with anatomical description.

  • 1Biology, University of Iowa, Department of Biology, United States

The inner ear and its two subsystems, the vestibular and the auditory system, exemplify how the identification of distinct cellular or anatomical elements ahead of elucidating their function, leads to a medley of anatomically defined and recognition oriented names that confused generations of students. Past attempts to clarify this unyielding nomenclature had incomplete success, as they could not yet generate an explanatory nomenclature. Building on these past efforts, we propose a somewhat revised nomenclature that keeps most of the past nomenclature as proposed and follows a simple rule: Anatomical and explanatory terms are combined followed, in brackets, by the name of the discoverer (see Table 1). For example, the ‘organ of Corti’ will turn into the spiral auditory organ (of Corti). This revised nomenclature build as much as possible on existing terms that have explanatory value while keeping the recognition of discoverers alive to allow a transition for those used to the eponyms. Once implements, the proposed terminology should help future generations in learning the structure-function correlates of the ear more easily. To facilitate future understanding, leading genetic identifiers for a given structure have been added wherever possible.

Keywords: Ear, development, sensory epithelia, sensory neurons, Auditory nuclei

Received: 27 Jul 2018; Accepted: 05 Nov 2018.

Edited by:

Hans J. Ten Donkelaar, Radboud University Nijmegen, Netherlands

Reviewed by:

Robert H. Baud, Université de Fribourg, Switzerland
Robert J. Ruben, Montefiore Medical Center, United States  

Copyright: © 2018 Fritzsch and Elliott. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Bernd Fritzsch, University of Iowa, Department of Biology, Biology, Iowa City, IA 52242, 52242, Iowa, United States,