Neuroscientists know that some connections in the brain are pruned through neural development. Function gives rise to structure, according to the textbooks. But scientists at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute have discovered that the textbooks might be wrong.
The research is in Cell Reports. (full open access)
Research: “Multiple Retinal Axons Converge onto Relay Cells in the Adult Mouse Thalamus” by Sarah Hammer, Aboozar Monavarfeshani, Tyler Lemon, Jianmin Su, and Michael Andrew Fox in Cell Reports doi:10.1016/j.celrep.2015.08.003
Image: Using a technique dubbed “brainbow,” the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute scientists tagged synaptic terminals with proteins that fluoresce different colors. The researchers thought one color, representing the single source of the many terminals, would dominate in the clusters. Instead, several different colors appeared together, intertwined but distinct. Credit: Virginia Tech.