Synaptic topography – Converging connections and emerging function
Neuroscience Research. 2019-04-01; 141: 29-35
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Brain circuits are constituted of individual neurons that are interconnected with a vast array of synapses. In order to understand how brain function emerges from this complex synaptic network, immense efforts have been made to trace the synaptic topography, i.e. arrangement of synaptic connections, of the network. In addition to anatomically elaborating the synaptic layout at multiple levels across brain regions, recent studies have attempted to elucidate the fundamental wiring principles that govern neural information processing in the brain, establishing a link between anatomy and function. In this review, I will discuss recent discoveries on the topographical organization of synaptic connections at the cell-to-cell and subcellular levels in the cortex and hippocampus. Accumulating evidence leads us to acknowledge the highly structured, non-random synaptic connectivity that emerges together with sensory feature preferences of neurons and synchronous neuronal activity.