In this paper (2014.Miller.etal.three.cell.count.methods.agree.V1), published in the Journal of Cell and Tissue Research (2014) we explored the possibility that two very different methods to quantify the cellular composition of brain tissue would produce comparable estimates.
In particular, we compared one method to count cells in which brain tissue is flattened and dissected into 3D chunks according to gross anatomical landmarks, with another method in which the brain is kept intact and sectioned into thin slices. Our results indicated that despite dramatic differences in preparation, the two methods produced roughly similar estimates, given a few important caveats. These results are important in establishing the comparability of cell count estimates using each technique, which have their own advantages and disadvantages.
In other words, if we ever want to figure out how the brain works, we need to understand a lot of data telling us about the different kinds of cells that form the circuits which support our mental lives!