Brain development by Lakshmi Bangalore

By Lakshmi Bangalore

"Brain improvement" introduces easy mind anatomy and mind improvement to highschool scholars. It discusses the molecular foundation of crucial frightened process specification, ranging from neural induction and trend formation to neural migration, axon information, and synapse formation. It additionally discusses the position that have and plasticity play in shaping the constitution and serve as of the constructing mind.

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Synapse elimination has been demonstrated in the visual system when thalamocortical axons withdraw from cells of the cortical layer IV in an activity-dependent manner. Similarly, surplus axons, which synapse with Purkinje cells in the cerebellum, disconnect during postnatal brain development until each Purkinje cell is innervated only by a single nerve fiber. Blockade of NMDA receptors in rodents during the critical period of postnatal day 15 and 16, but not before or after this period, prevents synapse elimination and leads to a permanent loss of motor coordination.

Other guidance molecules lay diffused in the extracellular space and are capable of providing both short- and long-range guidance to growth cones. Many guidance molecules, with names such as netrins, cadherins, semaphorins, neuropilins, ephrins and plexins, have been identified. As if the identified array of guidance molecules is not confusing enough, many of them are members of highly conserved and very large families of proteins. Yet, scientists believe that there must be many more guidance molecules, and that the current knowledge of the mechanisms 39 40 Brain Development that control growth cone guidance is still in its infancy.

Migration of neurons to proper locations in the developing brain is guided by a complex array of molecular signals and mechanisms. ■ Learn more about the contents of this chapter Search the Internet for cerebral cortex, neuron types, and gene expression. 35 4 Wiring the Brain: Growth and Guidance of Axons and Dendrites T he formation of neuronal circuits during brain development depends on proper growth and guidance of axons and dendrites to their appropriate connections. Axons extend from their cell bodies to distant locations toward their connections, and dendrites elaborate themselves (or spread) into complex branches.

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