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:6/3/2016)... June 3, 2016 ... Nepal hat ein ... hochsicherer geprägter Kennzeichen, einschließlich Personalisierung, Registrierung und ... der Produktion und Implementierung von Identitätsmanagementlösungen. Zahlreiche ... im Januar teilgenommen, aber Decatur wurde als ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... June 2, 2016 Perimeter Surveillance ... Unmanned Systems, Physical Infrastructure, Support & Other Service  ... visiongain offers comprehensive analysis of the global ... will generate revenues of $17.98 billion in 2016. ... Inc, a leader in software and hardware technologies for ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... , May 20, 2016  VoiceIt is ... partnership with VoicePass. By working together, ... experience.  Because VoiceIt and VoicePass take slightly different ... engines increases both security and usability. ... excitement about this new partnership. "This ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. , June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... offering new biological discoveries to the medical community, has ... and co-founder Matthew Nunez . "We ... provide us with the capital we need to meet ... funding will essentially provide us the runway to complete ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ClinCapture, ... Pennsylvania Convention Center and will showcase its product’s latest features from June 26 ... presenting a scientific poster on Disrupting Clinical Trials in The Cloud during the ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 22, 2016  Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN ... QB3@953 life sciences incubator to accelerate the ... shared laboratory space at QB3@953 was created to help ... obstacle for many early stage organizations - access to ... sponsorship, Amgen launched two "Amgen Golden Ticket" awards, providing ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... -- Research and Markets has announced the addition of ... offering. The global biomarkers ... in 2013. The market is expected to grow at a five-year ... increasing from $50.6 billion in 2015 to $96.6 billion in 2020. ... period (2015 to 2020) are discussed. As well, new products approved ...
Breaking Biology Technology: