Brain development is an awesome feat. Over a trillion neurons make connections with thousands of target cells to create coherent circuits for vision, language, movement, and memory. Most neurons migrate from their birthplace to their permanent home in the developing brain. Once they find a home, some cells send growth cones to different parts of the brain, creating networks with their axons. Corey Goodman, professor of molecular biology at the University of California, Berkeley, elaborates, "There are choice points where certain cells turn left while others turn right. Somehow they are integrating environmental information [in the brain] and deciding which way to grow."
|Photo: Yi Rao|
Neurons labeled with a flourescent dye migrate from the anterior subventricular zone in the upper right hand corner towards the olfactory bulb (not pictured, in the lower left hand corner). This experiment was done on a slice of postnatal rat brain.