Early developmental influences on neocortical organisation (2016–2018)
Development is a sequence of transformations whereby every stage depends on the outcome of previous stages. This proposal aims to identify the influence of preceding developmental stages on the correct formation of the cerebral cortex, a mammal-specific brain region responsible for perception, motor planning and cognition. How the early sensory periphery, early-born brain circuits, and intrinsic neuronal interactions affect the subsequent organisation of the cortical architecture will be investigated in a marsupial model of extra-uterine brain development. It will provide novel mechanistic and conceptual insights into the process of brain formation, as well as more general biological phenomena, such as development and evolution.