The neuronal circuits defined by the axonal projections of pyramidal neurons in the cerebral cortex are responsible for processing sensory and other information to plan and execute behavior. Subtypes of cortical pyramidal neurons are organized across layers, with those in different layers distinguished by their patterns of axonal projections and connectivity. For example, those in layers 2 and 3 project between cortical areas to integrate sensory and other information with motor areas; while those in layers 5 and 6 also integrate information between cortical areas, but also project to subcortical structures involved in the generation of behavior. Recent advances in neuroanatomical techniques allow one to target specific subtypes of cortical pyramidal neurons and label both their inputs and projections. Combining these methods with neurophysiological recording techniques and newly introduced atlases of the mouse brain provide the opportunity to achieve a detailed view of the organization of cerebral cortical circuits. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Keywords: axonal connections; cerebral cortex; cortical neurons.
© 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.