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Axons and Brain Architecture - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780128013939, 9780128016824

Axons and Brain Architecture

1st Edition

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Editor: Kathleen Rockland
Hardcover ISBN: 9780128013939
eBook ISBN: 9780128016824
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 7th December 2015
Page Count: 426
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Several excellent monographs exist which deal with axons. These, however, focus either on the cellular and molecular biology of axons proper or on network organization of connections, the latter with only an incidental or abstract reference to axons per se. Still relatively neglected, however, is the middle ground of terminations and trajectories of single axons in the mammalian central nervous system. This middle level of connectivity, between networks on the one hand and local, in vitro investigations on the other, is to some extent represented by retrograde tracer studies and labeled neurons, but there have so far been many fewer of the complementary anterograde studies, with total visualization of the axonal arborization.

The present volume brings together in one source an interrelated treatment of single axons from the perspective of microcircuitry and as substrates of larger scale organization (tractography). Especially for the former area - axons in microcircuitry - an abundance of published data exists, but these are typically in specialty journals that are not often accessed by the broader community. By highlighting and unifying the span from microcircuitry to tractography, the proposed volume serves as a convenient reference source and in addition inspires further interactions between what currently tend to be separate communities. The volume also redresses the imbalance between in vitro/local connectivity and long-distance connections.

Focusing on mammalian systems, Part 1 of this book is devoted to anatomical investigations of connections at the single axon level, drawing on modern techniques and classical methods from the 1990s. A particular emphasis is on broad coverage of cortical and subcortical connections from different species, so that common patterns of divergence, convergence, and collateralization can be easily appreciated. Part 2 addresses mechanisms of axon guidance, as these seem particularly relevant to pathways and branching patterns. Part 3 covers axon dynamics and functional aspects; and Part 4 focuses on tractography, notably including comparisons between histological substrates and imaging.

Key Features

  • A novel innovative reference on the axon as a connectional unit, encompassing microcircuitry, axon guidance, and function
  • Featuring chapters from leading researchers in the field
  • Full-colour text that includes both an overview of axon function and the multiple underlying molecular mechanisms
  • The only volume to bring together the configuration of individual axons at a circuit level and to relate the histological geometry of axons and axon bundles to in vivo tractography imaging studies


Neuroscientists, computational neuroscientists, developmental neuroscientists, imaging neuroscientists, neurologists, neurophysiologists, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
    • I.1 Early History
    • I.2 From 1970s: The Age of Technical Advances
    • I.3 Axonal Phenotypes in Neuroanatomy
    • I.4 Axonal Subdomains
    • I.5 Outlook
    • Readings
  • Section I: Microcircuitry
    • Section I. Microcircuitry
      • Overview
    • Chapter 1. Axonal Projection of Olfactory Bulb Tufted and Mitral Cells to Olfactory Cortex
      • Abstract
      • 1.1 Tufted Cells and Mitral Cells are Projection Neurons in the Olfactory Bulb, Conveying Odor Information to the Olfactory Cortex
      • 1.2 Glomerular Modules in the Olfactory Bulb
      • 1.3 Dendrodendritic Reciprocal Synaptic Interactions Between Projection Neurons and Granule Cells in the Olfactory Bulb
      • 1.4 Total Visualization of Axonal Arborization of Individual Functionally Characterized Tufted and Mitral Cells
      • 1.5 Axonal Projection of Tufted Cells and Mitral Cells to the Olfactory Cortex
      • 1.6 Gamma Oscillation Coupling Between Olfactory Bulb and Olfactory Cortex
      • 1.7 Tufted Cells May Provide Specificity-Projecting Circuits Whereas Mitral Cells Give Rise to Dispersedly Projecting “Binding” Circuits
      • 1.8 Olfactory Bulbo-Cortico-Bulbar Networks
      • 1.9 Conclusions
      • References
    • Chapter 2. The Primate Basal Ganglia Connectome As Revealed By Single-Axon Tracing
      • Abstract
      • 2.1 Overview of Basal Ganglia Organization
      • 2.2 Experimental Procedures
      • 2.3 Corticostriatal Projections
      • 2.4 Thalamostriatal Projections
      • 2.5 Striatofugal Projections
      • 2.6 Pallidofugal Projections
      • 2.7 Subthalamofugal Projections
      • 2.8 Basal Ganglia Connectome and Neurodegenerative Diseases
      • References
    • Chapter 3. Comparative Analysis of the Axonal Collateralization Patterns of Basal Ganglia Output Nuclei in the Rat
      • Abstract
      • 3.1 Introduction
      • 3.2 Basal Ganglia Output Nuclei in the Rat
      • 3.3 Afferent and Efferent Connections of the Basal Ganglia Output Nuclei
      • 3.4 Afferent and Efferent Connections of the GP
      • 3.5 Collateralization Patterns of Single Axons from the Basal Ganglia Output Nuclei
      • 3.6 Axonal Branching Patterns of SNr Neurons
      • 3.7 The Ventral Pallidum
      • 3.8 Differences in “Pallidal-Like” Projections Among the VP Compartments
      • 3.9 VPl as the Ventral Representative of the Indirect Pathway
      • 3.10 VPm and VPr as Ventral Representatives of the Direct Pathway
      • 3.11 Potential Branching Patterns of the Entopeduncular Projections
      • 3.12 Potential Branching Patterns of the GP
      • 3.13 Conclusions
      • References
    • Chapter 4. Anatomy and Development of Multispecific Thalamocortical Axons: Implications for Cortical Dynamics and Evolution
      • Abstract
      • 4.1 Thalamofugal Axon Architectures as Revealed by Bulk-Tracing Methods
      • 4.2 Thalamofugal Axon Architectures: Single-Axon Labeling Studies
      • 4.3 Developmental Differentiation of TC Axon Architectures
      • 4.4 Concluding Remarks: Functional Implications of the Diverse Axonal Architectures
      • References
    • Chapter 5. Geometrical Structure of Single Axons of Visual Corticocortical Connections in the Mouse
      • Abstract
      • 5.1 Introduction
      • 5.2 Single Axon Structure in Mouse Cortex
      • 5.3 Conclusions
      • References
    • Chapter 6. Interareal Connections of the Macaque Cortex: How Neocortex Talks to Itself
      • Abstract
      • 6.1 Introduction
      • 6.2 Feedforward Versus Feedback
      • 6.3 Hierarchy
      • 6.4 Distance Rule
      • 6.5 Drivers and Modulators
      • 6.6 Routing Rules
      • 6.7 Synapses of Interareal Pathways
      • 6.8 Spiny (Excitatory) Neurons as Targets
      • 6.9 Smooth (Inhibitory) Cells as Targets
      • 6.10 Influence of Synapse Number and Location
      • 6.11 Serial Processing and Lateral Thinking
      • 6.12 Pathways of Attention
      • 6.13 Conclusions
      • References
    • Chapter 7. Topography of Excitatory Cortico-cortical Connections in Three Main Tiers of the Visual Cortex: Functional Implications of the Patchy Horizontal Network
      • Abstract
      • 7.1 Introduction
      • 7.2 Methodical Considerations
      • 7.3 Laminar Distribution of Long-Range Lateral Connections
      • 7.4 Organization Principles of Patchy Lateral Connections
      • 7.5 Possible Functional Role of the Patchy System
      • 7.6 Outlook
      • References
    • Chapter 8. Do Lateral Intrinsic and Callosal Axons Have Comparable Actions in Early Visual Areas?
      • Abstract
      • 8.1 Introduction
      • 8.2 Anatomical and Topographical Particularities of Long-Range Intrinsic and Callosal Axons
      • 8.3 Functional Impact of Callosal Axons on Representations and Processing in Cat Areas 17 and 18
      • 8.4 Conclusion
      • References
    • Chapter 9. Neuronal Cell Types in the Neocortex
      • Abstract
      • 9.1 Background
      • 9.2 Cell Type Classification by Neuron Morphology
      • 9.3 Cell Type Classification by Neuron Physiology
      • 9.4 Cell Type Classification by Molecular/Genetic Profiles
      • 9.5 Cell Type Classification in Rat Barrel Cortex
      • 9.6 Input–Response–Output Excitatory Cell Types in Rat Barrel Cortex
      • 9.7 Toward a Nomenclature of Canonical Cortical Cell Types
      • References
    • Chapter 10. Anterograde Viral Tracer Methods
      • Abstract
      • 10.1 Axon Tract Tracing Through Viral-Mediated Gene Transfer
      • 10.2 Viral-Mediated Axon Tracing to Delineate Brain-Wide Connectivity
      • 10.3 Viral Delivery of Genes to Measure or to Manipulate Activity in Axons
      • 10.4 Retrograde Transmission of Viruses—Genetic Access to Neurons Based on Projection Site
      • 10.5 Transneuronal Anterograde Spread—Viruses Can Also Define Outputs
      • 10.6 Conclusions
      • References
  • Section II: Axon Dynamics
    • Section II. Axon dynamics
      • Overview
    • Chapter 11. In Vivo Visualization of Single Axons and Synaptic Remodeling in Normal and Pathological Conditions
      • Abstract
      • 11.1 Neuronal Labeling Methods
      • 11.2 Axonal Dynamics During Development: from Specification to Maintenance
      • 11.3 Aging
      • 11.4 Autism
      • 11.5 Rett Syndrome
      • 11.6 Fragile X Syndrome
      • 11.7 Trauma
      • 11.8 Sensory Manipulations
      • 11.9 Degeneration
      • 11.10 Dementia
      • 11.11 Stroke
      • 11.12 Multiple Sclerosis
      • 11.13 Concluding Remarks and Future Prospects
      • Abbreviations
      • References
    • Chapter 12. Contribution of Axons to Short-Term Dynamics of Neuronal Communication
      • Abstract
      • 12.1 Introduction
      • 12.2 Complex Axonal Excitability
      • 12.3 Spike Conduction Velocity and Delay
      • 12.4 The Recovery Cycle of Axonal Excitability
      • 12.5 Changes in Spike Interval Structure During Propagation
      • 12.6 Nonuniform Axonal Properties and Spike Failures
      • 12.7 Ectopic Axonal Spike Initiation
      • 12.8 Spike Shape and Analog Signaling
      • 12.9 Neuromodulation of Axons
      • 12.10 Long-Term Regulation of Axon Physiology
      • 12.11 Concluding Remarks
      • References
  • Section III: Axon Guidance
    • Section III. Axon guidance
      • Overview
    • Chapter 13. Organization of Axons in Their Tracts
      • Abstract
      • 13.1 Introduction
      • 13.2 Evidence of Tract Order: Topography, Chronotopy, and Typography
      • 13.3 Molecules and Mechanisms Guiding Pretarget Axon Organization
      • 13.4 Conclusions
      • Abbreviations
      • References
    • Chapter 14. Cortical Architecture, Midline Guidance, and Tractography of 3D White Matter Tracts
      • Abstract
      • 14.1 Introduction
      • 14.2 Development of Circuits in the Brain
      • 14.3 dMRI-Based Imaging of Brain Connectivity
      • 14.4 Conclusions
      • References
  • Section IV: Tractography
    • Section IV. Tractography
      • Overview
    • Chapter 15. The Diameters of Cortical Axons and Their Relevance to Neural Computing
      • Abstract
      • 15.1 Computational Neuroanatomy and the Computational Properties of Axons
      • 15.2 Methodological Perspectives
      • 15.3 Evolutionary Trends
      • 15.4 Modeling Conduction Delays
      • 15.5 Development and Plasticity
      • 15.6 Perspectives
      • References
    • Chapter 16. Critical Review and Comparison of Axonal Structures in MRI/DTI and Histology
      • Abstract
      • 16.1 Introduction
      • 16.2 Histology and Tracer Studies and Their Use for Studying Connectivity in the Human Brain
      • 16.3 dMRI and Tractography and its Use for the Study of Connectivity
      • 16.4 dMRI and Tractography Validation Studies Using Histology and Tracing Techniques
      • 16.5 Validating Diffusion Tensors
      • 16.6 Validating Tractography
      • 16.7 Future Directions for Histological Validation
      • References
    • Chapter 17. Neuroanatomical Techniques for Analysis of Axonal Trajectories in the Cerebral Cortex of the Rhesus Monkey
      • Abstract
      • 17.1 Introduction
      • 17.2 Local Circuitry Versus Long-Distance Connections
      • 17.3 In Vivo Visualization of the Brain
      • 17.4 Recent Findings on Trajectories by dMRI
      • 17.5 Concluding Remarks
      • References
    • Chapter 18. High-Resolution Fiber and Fiber Tract Imaging Using Polarized Light Microscopy in the Human, Monkey, Rat, and Mouse Brain
      • Abstract
      • 18.1 The Roots of Polarized Light Imaging in Nervous Tissue
      • 18.2 Tissue and Methods
      • 18.3 PLI of Fiber Tracts in Human and Vervet Monkey Brains
      • 18.4 PLI of Fiber Tracts in Mouse and Rat Brains
      • 18.5 PLI of Intracortical Organization
      • 18.6 Conclusions and Future Perspectives
      • References
  • Conclusion


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© Academic Press 2016
7th December 2015
Academic Press
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About the Editor

Kathleen Rockland

Dr. Kathleen Rockland is Research Professor of Anatomy and Neurobiology at Boston University School of Medicine and Visiting Professor at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Prior to this, she held academic professorships at the University of Iowa and at the RIKEN Brain Science Institute in Wako, Japan focusing on single axon analysis of long-distance cortical connections in monkey. She holds editorial positions with both the Journal of Comparative Neurology and Frontiers in Neuroanatomy. A leader in the field, she has multiple publications in single axon connectivity.

Affiliations and Expertise

Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA, USA

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