Numbers, time and neocortical neuronogenesis: a general developmental and evolutionary model

Trends Neurosci. 1995 Sep;18(9):379-83. doi: 10.1016/0166-2236(95)93933-o.


The number of neurons in the neocortex is the product of the size of the preneuronogenetic founder population, that is, the number of proliferative cells that are present at the onset of neuronogenesis, and neuronogenetic amplification occurring as neurons are being produced. The amount of neuronogenetic amplification is determined by changes in the output fraction, Q, from 0 to 1, over a fixed number of cell cycles. Greater neuronogenetic amplification would occur across species if the number of cell cycles during which Q < 0.5 increased. Since neither the length of the cell cycle nor the length of the neuronogenetic interval, that is, time per se, influence neuron number directly, it is speculated that changes in these parameters are essential to neuronal diversity.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution*
  • Cerebral Cortex / anatomy & histology*
  • Cerebral Cortex / growth & development
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological