February 12, 2019

Neurons somehow know which of their neighbors to connect with and which to avoid in the crowded environment of the central nervous system. But how?

Using fruit flies, neuroscientists from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA observed that neurons displayed periodic bursts of electrical activity early in brain development, when the larva is still developing. The coordinated activity appears to be internally driven — not triggered by something outside of the brain. The findings suggest that the signals could help neurons find each other to form networks and wire the developing brain.