Development of the Nervous System

3rd Edition


Development of the Nervous System

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Development of the Nervous System, Second Edition has been thoroughly revised and updated since the publication of the Second Edition. It presents a broad outline of neural development principles as exemplified by key experiments and observations from past and recent times. The text is organized along a development pathway from the induction of the neural primordium to the emergence of behavior. It covers all the major topics including the patterning and growth of the nervous system, neuronal determination, axonal navigation and targeting, synapse formation and plasticity, and neuronal survival and death.
This text reflects the complete modernization of the field achieved through the use of model organisms and the intensive application of molecular and genetic approaches. A thoroughly revised chapter 10 adds a specific emphasis on the emerging understanding of behavioral and cognitive development as informed by the molecular and cellular knowledge introduced in this book.
The original, artist-rendered drawings, now in full color, have all been reviewed, many revised and a number of new graphics have been added.
This new edition is the only up to date developmental neuroscience textbook for undergraduate and graduate level students for courses offered in Neuroscience, Medicine, Psychology, Biochemistry, Pharmacology, and Developmental Biology programs.

Table of Contents


Preface to the Third Edition

Preface to the Second Edition

Preface to the First Edition

1. Neural induction

Development and evolution of neurons

Early embryology of metazoans

Derivation of neural tissue

Interactions with neighboring tissues in making neural tissue

The molecular nature of the neural inducer

Conservation of neural induction

Interactions among the ectodermal cells in controlling neuroblast segregation


2. Polarity and segmentation

Regional identity of the nervous system

The anterior–posterior axis and hox genes

Hox gene function in the vertebrate nervous system

Signaling molecules that pattern the anterior–posterior axis in vertebrates: heads or tails

Organizing centers in the developing brain

Forebrain development, prosomeres, and pax genes

Dorsal–ventral polarity in the neural tube

Dorsal neural tube and neural crest

Patterning the cerebral cortex


3. Genesis and migration

What determines the number of cells produced by the progenitors?

The generation of neurons and glia

Cerebral cortex histogenesis

Cerebellar cortex histogenesis

Molecular mechanisms of neuronal migration

Postembryonic and adult neurogenesis


4. Determination and differentiation

Transcriptional hierarchies in invariant lineages: C. elegans neurons

Spatial and temporal coordinates of determination: drosophila CNS neuroblasts

Asymmetric cell divisions and asymmetric fate

Generating complexity through cellular interactions: the drosophila retina

Specification and differentiation through cellular interactions and interactions with the local environment: the vertebrate neural crest

Competence and histogenesis: the mammalian cortex

The interplay of intrinsic and extrin


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© 2012
Academic Press
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About the authors

Dan Sanes

Dr. Sanes is Professor in the Center for Neural Science and Department of Biology at New York University. Named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in 2010 for his research in auditory central nervous system development, his research has been supported by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders and the National Science Foundation. His lab studies synaptic plasticity and central auditory processing, and the phenomenon of hearing loss during development.

Affiliations and Expertise

New York University, New York, U.S.A.

Thomas Reh

Dr. Reh is Professor of Biological Structure and Director of the Neurobiology and Behavior Program at the University of Washington. He is currently a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Foundation Fighting Blindness, and of a start-up biotechnology company, Acucela. He has received several awards for his work, including the AHFMR and Sloan Scholar awards and has published over 100 journal articles, reviews and books. Funded by numerous N.I.H. and private foundation grants, his lab is focused on the development and repair of the retina, with an overall goal of understanding the cellular and molecular biology of regeneration in the eye.

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Washington, Seattle, U.S.A.

William Harris

Dr. Harris is co-chair of Cambridge Neuroscience and Director of Studies in Neuroscience. He is also Head of the Department of Physiology, Development, and Neuroscience, and is Professor of Anatomy. Elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of London in 2007, he was Professor of Biology at UCSD prior to accepting a position at Cambridge. His lab is working to elucidate the cellular and molecular events that are used to push or induce cells to transition from proliferating stem cells to differentiated neurons and glia, and how particular regions of the nervous system produce the right number of neurons and the right proportions of different neuron subtypes.

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Cambridge, U.K.