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Talk by Professor Kathleen Rockland

Department of Anatomy & Neurobiology, Boston University School of Medicine,

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

28 Apr 2014 16:30
28 Apr 2014 17:30
Bldg. 16.15, Room 2009, ground-floor

Variations on Cortical Columns

Despite views advocating stereotyped cortical columnarity, a consensus is arguably re-emerging in support of inter-areal and even intra-areal variability. In itself, this is not so different from earlier results of the classical architectonic investigators.  However, better technical resources are now available to probe molecular and developmental mechanisms, as well as functional implications. The first part of my talk will briefly review various kinds of columns, with emphasis on “minicolumns,” as well as touch on current ideas of molecular and developmental influences. As avenues for further investigation, I would like to raise for discussion differences between cortical and cerebellar modularity, and the prominence of layer 2 modularity in several cortical areas. Also to consider are sulcal deformations, where there are changes not only in laminar thickness but likely in dendritic organization and, by extension, in microcircuitry. If columnar organization is variable, even within a cortical area, what can we infer about cortical functional architecture?

There will be coffee and drinks after the talk.