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:11/17/2016)... Global Market Watch: Primarily supported by ownership types; ... Academics) market is to witness a value of US$37.1 billion ... Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 10.75% is foreseen from ... 2014-2020. North America is not way ... Europe at 9.56% respectively. Report Focus: ...
(Date:11/15/2016)... DUBLIN , Nov 15, 2016 Research ... - Global Forecast to 2021" report to their offering. ... ... reach USD 16.18 Billion by 2021 from USD 6.21 Billion in ... Growth of the bioinformatics market is driven by ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... 2016  The American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics ... as one of the fastest-growing trade shows during the ... Bellagio in Las Vegas . ... growth in each of the following categories: net square feet ... of attendees. The 2015 ACMG Annual Meeting was ranked 23 ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/7/2016)... ... December 07, 2016 , ... Cambrian ... for industrial facilities, today announced that one of the nation’s fastest growing craft ... novel water-energy purchase agreement (WEPA). Under the WEPA, a first for the industrial ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... ... December 07, 2016 , ... JULABO ... online shopping cart. The new website has been designed to provide the best ... allow customers to access detailed product information, read educational industry content as well ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... ... 07, 2016 , ... Kara Dwyer Dodge grew up hearing stories of the sea monster her ... Mass., found a sea turtle entangled in the lines of one of his lobster pots. ... sensation because no one could remember ever seeing one so large so close to shore. ...
(Date:12/6/2016)... /PRNewswire/ - SQI Diagnostics Inc. ("SQI" or the "Company") (TSX-V: SQD; OTCQX: ... and fiscal year ended September 30, 2016. ... , , ... diagnostics company that develops and commercializes proprietary technologies and products for ... Achieved revenues of $1.4 million more than tripling prior years revenue. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: