Navigation Links
MIT researcher presents new view of how the cortex forms

A leading neuroscientist at MIT and one from the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) report in the Nov. 4 special issue of Science dedicated to the brain that the controversy is over: The "protomap" and "protocortex" theories of brain development are dead.

The cerebral cortex is a sheet of around 10 billion neurons divided into distinctly separate areas that process particular aspects of sensation, movement and cognition. To what extent are these areas predetermined by genes or shaped by the environment? The protomap and protocortex theories developed before 1990 claimed, respectively, that the task-specific regions of the cortex are spawned by a zone of "originator" cells; or that long nerve fibers from the thalamus, a large ovoid mass that relays information to the cortex from other brain regions, are activated by external stimuli to impose identity on the homogeneous blob.

New evidence indicates that the development of cortical areas involves "a rich array of signals," an interwoven cascade of developmental events, some internal and some external, according to co-authors Mriganka Sur, Sherman Fairchild Professor of Neuroscience at the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory and the MIT Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, and John L. R. Rubenstein of UCSF.

"Recent evidence has altered researchers' understanding of how cortical areas form, connect with other brain regions, develop unique processing networks and adapt to changes in inputs," Sur said. "Understanding basic mechanisms of cortical development is central to understanding disorders of development."

Sur, chair of the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT, is leading an ambitious, multifaceted approach to understanding the genetic, molecular and behavioral aspects of autism.

In the Science review article, "Patterning and Plasticity of the Cerebral Cortex," Sur and Rubenstein point out that transcription factors are key. A transcripti on factor is a protein that binds DNA at a specific site where it regulates transcription, or the process of copying genetic material.

In the brain's early prenatal development, transcription factors control the birth and growth of new neurons, neurons' movement and connectivity within the brain, and which ones live and which are killed off.

Later, at a critical point in development, activity in the form of outside stimulation refines the brain's topography and networks to create the specific functions and areas of the postnatal mammalian brain.


'"/>

Source:Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Related biology news :

1. U of M researcher examines newly emerging deadly disease
2. NYU researchers simulate molecular biological clock
3. Vital step in cellular migration described by UCSD medical researchers
4. ASU researchers finds novel chemistry at work to provide parrots vibrant red colors
5. UCSD researchers maintain stem cells without contaminated animal feeder layers
6. Why do insects stop breathing? To avoid damage from too much oxygen, say researchers
7. New protein discovered by Hebrew University researchers
8. First real-time view of developing neurons reveals surprises, say Stanford researchers
9. Agilent Technologies releases automated literature search tool for biology researchers
10. Self-assembled nano-sized probes allow Penn researchers to see tumors through flesh and skin
11. Yale researchers identify molecule for detecting parasitic infection in humans
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:5/20/2016)... , May 20, 2016  VoiceIt is excited ... with VoicePass. By working together, VoiceIt ...  Because VoiceIt and VoicePass take slightly different approaches ... increases both security and usability. ... about this new partnership. "This marketing ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... , May 3, 2016  Neurotechnology, a ... the MegaMatcher Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS) ... large-scale multi-biometric projects. MegaMatcher ABIS can process multiple ... using any combination of fingerprint, face or iris ... MegaMatcher SDK and MegaMatcher Accelerator , ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... 2016 Research and Markets has ... Market 2016-2020"  report to their offering.  , ,     ... The analysts forecast the global multimodal biometrics market ... the period 2016-2020.  Multimodal biometrics is ... as the healthcare, BFSI, transportation, automotive, and government ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... quality, regulatory and technical consulting, provides a free webinar on Performing ... July 13, 2016 at 12pm CT at no charge. , Incomplete investigations are ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ReportsnReports.com adds 2016 global ... pharmaceuticals section with historic and forecast data along ... Complete report on the Cell Culture ... companies and supported with 261 tables and figures ... The Global Cell Culture Media Industry ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... , June 22, 2016  According to Kalorama ... generation sequencing (NGS) market include significant efforts in ... sequencers.  More accessible and affordable sequencers, say the ... demand for consumables including sample prep materials.  The ... for Sample Preparation for Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) ...
(Date:6/22/2016)...   ViaCyte, Inc. , a privately-held regenerative medicine ... therapy for the treatment of diabetes in clinical-stage development, ... ISSCR 2016, the Global Stem Cell Event, is taking ... San Francisco.    ... , Focus Session: Tools for Basic and Applied Stem ...
Breaking Biology Technology: