Interneuron Types as Attractors and Controllers.

08:00 EDT 12th July 2019 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Interneuron Types as Attractors and Controllers."

Cortical interneurons display striking differences in shape, physiology, and other attributes, challenging us to appropriately classify them. We previously suggested that interneuron types should be defined by their role in cortical processing. Here, we revisit the question of how to codify their diversity based upon their division of labor and function as controllers of cortical information flow. We suggest that developmental trajectories provide a guide for appreciating interneuron diversity and argue that subtype identity is generated using a configurational code of transcription factors that produce attractor states in the underlying gene regulatory network. We present our updated three-stage model for interneuron specification: an initial cardinal step, allocating interneurons into a few major classes, followed by definitive refinement, creating subclasses upon settling within the cortex, and lastly, state determination, reflecting the incorporation of interneurons into functional circuit ensembles. We close by discussing findings indicating that major interneuron classes are both evolutionarily ancient and conserved. We propose that the complexity of cortical circuits is generated by phylogenetically old interneuron types, complemented by an evolutionary increase in principal neuron diversity. This suggests that a natural neurobiological definition of interneuron types might be derived from a match between their developmental origin and computational function. Expected final online publication date for the Volume 43 is July 8, 2020. Please see for revised estimates.


Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Annual review of neuroscience
ISSN: 1545-4126


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