Neuroscience: A Journey Through the Brain

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The Development of the Nervous System

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Over a century ago, Santiago Ramon y Cajal undertook a comprehensive and now classical series of anatomical studies the culminated in a clearer appreciation of the structure and organization of the nervous system. Modern studies aim to discover the cellular and molecular processes underlying the formation of the neural circuits Ramon y Cajal described.

Development in the nervous system depends on the expression of particular genes at particular places and times during development. The factors that control neuronal differentiation originate both from cellular sources within the embryo and from the external environment.

Two general questions of developmental neurobiology are:

1. How do neural cells acquire their specific identity?
2. How are patterns of neural connections established and maintained?

These questions will be answered throughout the sections of this topic. Use the navigation bars at the top to learn more about the development of the nervous system or to switch to another section.

Created and Maintained by: Melissa Davies
Last Updated: April 09, 2002 08:56 PM