Fate and freedom in developing neocortical circuits

Nat Commun. 2017 Jul 3:8:16042. doi: 10.1038/ncomms16042.

Abstract

The activity of neuronal circuits of the neocortex underlies our ability to perceive the world and interact with our environment. During development, these circuits emerge from dynamic interactions between cell-intrinsic, genetically determined programs and input/activity-dependent signals, which together shape these circuits into adulthood. Building on a large body of experimental work, several recent technological developments now allow us to interrogate these nature–nurture interactions with single gene/single input/single-cell resolution. Focusing on excitatory glutamatergic neurons, this review discusses the genetic and input-dependent mechanisms controlling how individual cortical neurons differentiate into specialized cells to assemble into stereotypical local circuits within global, large-scale networks.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Gene-Environment Interaction
  • Glutamic Acid / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Neocortex / cytology
  • Neocortex / growth & development*
  • Neocortex / metabolism
  • Neocortex / physiology
  • Nerve Net
  • Neural Pathways*
  • Neurogenesis / genetics*
  • Neuronal Plasticity
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Neurons / metabolism*
  • Single-Cell Analysis

Substances

  • Glutamic Acid