Larry W. Swanson

in Brain Architecture

Second edition

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780195378580
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199965120 | DOI:

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Just after the neural tube develops to the point of having five secondary vesicles and a spinal cord that are arranged as a series of rostral to caudal transverse divisions, a new process begins: the generation of neurons from the wall of the neural tube. This neurogenesis occurs in a very reproducible pattern along the longitudinal axis of the neural tube. In the spinal cord and region of the primary hindbrain vesicle it starts ventrally and progresses dorsally, which corresponds to the early generation of motor neurons ventrally and the later generation of sensory-related neurons dorsally. In the midbrain and forebrain, the pattern is more complex but neurogenesis tends to begin in an intermediate position, then ventrally, and then dorsally. As development goes on the young neurons form differentiated gray matter regions throughout the neural tube, and their axons tend to bundle together to form white matter tracts. Axonal connections between gray matter regions are called macroconnections, between neuron types mesoconnections, and between individual neurons microconnections. Regionalization of the nervous system, and connections between its regions, can be illustrated clearly on a flatmap that is derived from the original neural plate of the embryo.

Chapter.  7234 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Development of the Nervous System

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