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Transient neurones match the spontaneous and sensory driven activities to shape cortical circuits: a landmark collaborative review published in Science from Professor Zoltán Molnár, Professor Patrick Kanold and Professor Heiko Luhmann.

Overlayed silhouttes of adult, adolescent, infant and baby craniums, highlighting neuronal circuits in their brains © Professor Zoltán Molnár

A new collaborative review between Department of Physiology, Anatomy & Genetics's Professor Zoltán Molnár, Professor Patrick Kanold (Johns Hopkins University Department of Biomedical Engineering and Kavli Neuroscience Discovery Institute) and Professor Heiko Luhmann (University Medical Center of the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz) gives a comprehensive overview of the transient neuronal circuits in both the cerebral cortex and in the thalamus, the circuits that relay and process most of the information from our sensory environment.

The paper comes in response to the last two decades of developmental neuroscience research, during which a major focus has been on genetics, whereas the fundamentally important role of electrical activity from the earliest stages of brain development has only recently become evident. This review draws from each author’s research across the last three decades to demonstrate that during early development of the mammalian brain, transient neuronal populations integrate spontaneous and externally generated activity patterns to form mature cortical networks.

The full story is available on the Department of Physiology, Anatomy & Genetics website