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Nat Neurosci. 2015 Feb;18(2):170-81. doi: 10.1038/nn.3917. Epub 2015 Jan 27.

The neocortical circuit: themes and variations.

Author information

1
UCL Institute of Neurology and UCL Department of Neuroscience, Physiology, and Pharmacology, University College London, London, UK.
2
Department of Physiology, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois, USA.

Abstract

Similarities in neocortical circuit organization across areas and species suggest a common strategy to process diverse types of information, including sensation from diverse modalities, motor control and higher cognitive processes. Cortical neurons belong to a small number of main classes. The properties of these classes, including their local and long-range connectivity, developmental history, gene expression, intrinsic physiology and in vivo activity patterns, are remarkably similar across areas. Each class contains subclasses; for a rapidly growing number of these, conserved patterns of input and output connections are also becoming evident. The ensemble of circuit connections constitutes a basic circuit pattern that appears to be repeated across neocortical areas, with area- and species-specific modifications. Such 'serially homologous' organization may adapt individual neocortical regions to the type of information each must process.

PMID:
25622573
PMCID:
PMC4889215
DOI:
10.1038/nn.3917
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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