This book concentrates on the organizational level of neurons and neuronal networks under the unifying theme "The Self-Organizing Brain - From Growth Cones to Functional Networks". Such a theme is attractive because it incorporates all phases in the emergence of complexity and (adaptive) organization, as well as involving processes that remain operative in the mature state.

The order of the sections follows successive levels of organization from neuronal growth cones, neurite formation, neuronal morphology and signal processing to network development, network dynamics and, finally, to the formation of functional circuits.

Table of Contents

List of contributors. Preface. Acknowledgements. Section I - Introduction. 1. Reciprocity of structure-function relations in developing neural networks: the Odyssey of a self-organizing brain through research fads, fallacies and prospects. Section II - From Growth Cone to Neuron. A. Growth Cone Dynamics and Neuritic Outgrowth. 2. Growth cone motility: substratum-bound molecules, cytoplasmic (Ca2+) and Ca2+-regulated proteins. 3. Filopodia as detectors of environmental cues: signal integration through changes in growth cone calcium levels. 4. Microtubule transport and assembly cooperate to generate the microtubule assay of growing axons. 5. Initial tract formation in the vertebrate brain. 6. Dynamic mechanisms of neuronal outgrowth. 7. Geometrical and topological characteristics in the dendritic development of cortical pyramidal and non-pyramidal neurons. B. Morphology, Excitability and Signal Processing. 8. Electrotonic properties of passive dendritic trees - effect of dendritic topology. 9. Exploring the computational capabilities of single neurons by continuous cable modelling. 10. Development of voltage-dependent and ligand-gated channels in excitable membranes. 11. Theoretical models for describing neural signal transduction. 12. Intrinsic neuronal physiology and the functions, dysfunctions and development of neurocortex. Section III - From Neuron to Network. A. Functional Activity and Other Formative Factors. 13. Development of projection neurons of the mammalian cerebral cortex. 14. Naturally occurring and axotomy-induced motoneuron death, and its prevention by neurotrophic agents: a comparison between chick and mouse. 15. Synaptic development of the cerebral cortex: implications for learning, memory and mental illness. 16. Activity-dependent neurite outgrowth and neural network development. 17. &ggr;-Aminobutyric acid (GABA): a fast excitatory transmitter which may regulate the developme


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© 1994
Elsevier Science
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