Activity-dependent neurite outgrowth: implications for network development and neuronal morphology
Van Ooyen, A., Van Pelt, J., Corner, M. A., and Kater, S. B. (2003). In: Van Ooyen, A., ed. Modeling Neural Development. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, pp. 111-132. [Full text: PDF]
Empirical studies have shown that high levels of neuronal activity can cause neurites to retract, whereas lower levels allow further outgrowth. Using simulation studies, we have explored the possible implications of such activity-dependent neurite outgrowth for network development and neuronal morphology. These implications include a transient phase of high connectivity during development, the presence of multiple stable end states of development at different connectivity levels, and the emergence of size differences between the neuritic fields of excitatory and inhibitory cells. These phenomena, which are also observed in developing cultures of cerebral cortex cells, emerge in the model without assuming predetermined, time-scheduled mechanisms.