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Journal Article

The impact of neuron morphology on cortical network architecture


Sakmann,  Bert
Emeritus Group: Cortical Column in silico / Sakmann, MPI of Neurobiology, Max Planck Society;

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Udvary, D., Harth, P., Macke, J. H., Hege, H.-C., de Kock, C. P. J., Sakmann, B., et al. (2022). The impact of neuron morphology on cortical network architecture. Cell Reports, 39(2): 110677. doi:10.1016/j.celrep.2022.110677.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000A-5329-B
The neurons in the cerebral cortex are not randomly interconnected. This specificity in wiring can result from synapse formation mechanisms that connect neurons, depending on their electrical activity and genetically defined identity. Here, we report that the morphological properties of the neurons provide an additional prominent source by which wiring specificity emerges in cortical networks. This morphologically determined wiring specificity reflects similarities between the neurons' axo-dendritic projections patterns, the packing density, and the cellular diversity of the neuropil. The higher these three factors are, the more recurrent is the topology of the network. Conversely, the lower these factors are, the more feedforward is the network's topology. These principles predict the empirically observed occurrences of clusters of synapses, cell type-specific connectivity patterns, and nonrandom network motifs. Thus, we demonstrate that wiring specificity emerges in the cerebral cortex at subcellular, cellular, and network scales from the specific morphological properties of its neuronal constituents.