Monday, September 25, 2006
Both vertebrate and fruit fly have so-called visual maps in the brain that represent the world they see. These visual maps consist of millions of nerve cell contacts that need to be wired correctly during development in order for the adult animal to see normally. It is generally thought that the complexity of visual maps, like other brain regions, cannot only be genetically programmed but requires activity by neurons or nerve cells in the brain.
In a new study published in the journal Current Biology, Drs. P. Robin Hiesinger, R. Grace Zhai and co-workers in the laboratory of Dr. Hugo Bellen, director of the Program in Developmental Biology at Baylor College of Medicine, found that this neuronal activity is not required for the formation of the visual map in Drosophila melanogaster, the most common form of fruit fly used in laboratories around the world. [Flies, Evolution]
Based on "Activity-Independent Prespecification of Synaptic Partners in the Visual Map of Drosophila" (Abstract)
technorati tags: vertebrate, fruit, fly, visual, maps, brain, nerve, cell, complexity, regions, genetically, programmed, neurons, cells, study, journal, current, biology, laboratory, developmental, baylor, college, medicine, drosophila, melanogaster, flies, evolution, synaptic