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Brain Res Rev. 2007 Oct;55(2):193-203. Epub 2007 Aug 8.

Reconstruction of an average cortical column in silico.

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Department of Cell Physiology, Max-Planck-Institut für Medizinische Forschung, Jahnstrasse 29, Heidelberg, Germany.


The characterization of individual neurons by Golgi and Cajal has been the basis of neuroanatomy for a century. A new challenge is to anatomically describe, at cellular resolution, complete local circuits that can drive behavior. In this essay, we review the possibilities to obtain a model cortical column by using in vitro and in vivo pair recordings, followed by anatomical reconstructions of the projecting and target cells. These pairs establish connection modules that eventually may be useful to synthesize an average cortical column in silico. Together with data on sensory evoked neuronal activity measured in vivo, this will allow to model the anatomical and functional cellular basis of behavior based on more realistic assumptions than previously attempted.

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