About this Research Topic
The cerebral cortex is one of the highest centers for sensory integration, emotion, decision making and voluntary movement modulation. To fulfill such functions, enormous numbers of cortical neurons with diverse molecular identities have to be placed at the right location and be connected to proper partners. The subplate (SP) neurons occupy a unique position in the cerebral cortex development since they are among the earliest-born neurons and differentiate, migrate, and project axons prior to other neuronal populations in the cortex, possibly delineating the fundamental framework of the organization of the cerebral cortex.
Recent molecular and functional studies on SP neurons using comparative transcriptomics, reporter mouse lines, and optogenetics, have started to reveal the diversity of SP neurons in gene expression and morphology, their function as pioneers in long-range and local circuit formations as well as in neuronal migration, and their evolutionary history. Although the SP was assumed to be a transient layer during the developmental stage, accumulating evidence supports the persistence of at least a proportion of SP neurons into adulthood, raising the possibility that the remnant SP neurons might have specific functions in the mature cortex.
This Research Topic aims to collect current knowledge on the roles of SP neurons in cortical development as well as to envision possible circuit functions of remnant SP neurons underlying animal behaviors. Thus, the scope of this topic covers (but is not limited to) neuronal migration, areal fate acquisition, local circuit formation, long-range circuit formation, molecular heterogeneity, evolution, electrophysiological properties, and optogenetic manipulation, all in relation to SP neurons.
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