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The Impact of Neuron Morphology on Cortical Network Architecture

  • 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 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.

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Author:Daniel UdvaryORCiD, Philipp HarthORCiD, Jakob H. MackeORCiD, Hans-Christian HegeORCiDGND, Christiaan P. J. de KockORCiD, Bert Sakmann, Marcel OberlaenderORCiD
Document Type:Article
Parent Title (English):Cell Reports
Date of first Publication:2022/04/12
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