Review

Transient cortical circuits match spontaneous and sensory-driven activity during development

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Science  16 Oct 2020:
Vol. 370, Issue 6514, eabb2153
DOI: 10.1126/science.abb2153

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A moment in time

As the brain develops, it does not simply get bigger. Like a building that depends on temporary scaffolds as its structures are assembled, the developing brain sets up the circuits that characterize the adult brain. Molnár et al. review the current state of knowledge about how brain connections are built and how autonomously established patterns are reshaped by activity from the sensory periphery. With the help of a transient population of neurons, the spontaneous activity of early circuits is molded by increasing inputs from the external world. When these normal developmental interactions are disrupted, consequent miswiring drives dysfunction in the adult brain.

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