Viewpoints: contrasting opinions in Neural Development

Neural
Development
has published the first articles of a new review
series, in which leading researchers present apparently conflicting interpretations in parallel.

The series will focus on the mechanisms of neural
development for which large data sets are available, but no consensus interpretation has emerged.  By inviting
the leading proponents of distinct viewpoints to present their hypotheses side-by-side, Neural Development
hopes to focus and stimulate debate on the central issues involved.

The series
begins with a pair of articles by Marla Feller and Leo Chalupa. They
examine the idea that patterns of spontaneous electrical activity in retinal
cells provide instructions required for specific connectivity of retinal axons
with their targets in the lateral geniculate nucleus. The topic
is an important one because this system has been an influential model for
analysis of activity-dependent refinement of connectivity, a phenomenon that
appears to be widespread in the developing brain.

Readers of Neural
Development
are invited to add to the debate by using the ‘post a
comment’ feature available on the full text version of each article.

For more information please read the Editorial
introducing the series. Suggestions of further topics to cover are welcome ­-
please send suggestions to
editorial@neuraldevelopment.com
.

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