Changes in the shape of the developing vertebrate nervous system analyzed experimentally, mathematically and by computer simulation

J Exp Zool. 1976 Aug;197(2):191-246. doi: 10.1002/jez.1401970205.


Two forces are necessary and sufficient to produce the transformation of the newt neural plate from a hemispheric sheet of cells one cell thick to a keyhole shape. These forces are: (1) a regionally programmed shrinkage of the surface of the neural plate (accomplished by contraction of the apical surfaces of the neural plate cells and elongation of these cells perpendicular to the plate); and (2) displacement of the whole sheet caused by elongation of either the notochord or the overlying neural plate cells in the antero-posterior direction. A computer simulation and mathematical analysis ("morphodynamics"), together with experiments and observations on embryos, were used to deduce the morphogenesis of the neural plate from these forces.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Computers
  • Mathematics
  • Models, Neurological*
  • Morphogenesis
  • Nervous System / embryology*
  • Salamandridae