Understanding developmental disorders with mathematical model

Sep 16, 2010

Computational neuroscientists at the Queensland Brain Institute have done the sums - and found that a mathematical model could help improve the understanding of developmental disorders.

The model addresses the structure of a crucial region of the brain known as the cerebral cortex, which is responsible for functions such as vision, touch and motor control.

If the cerebral cortex fails to form correctly in the embryo, a person can develop , epilepsy and learning difficulties.

“In the adult, different areas of the cerebral cortex are defined by specific patterns of and patterns of connections, which makes the cortical areas highly specialised and quite different to each other,” lead author Clare Giacomantonio said.

“We're trying to understand how those specialised areas develop. We're specifically looking at one aspect of that development, which is how the patterns of form.

“If we can understand how normal development occurs you can certainly get a better idea of understanding how things can go wrong and, eventually, how you might steer development back along the correct direction."

The research, published in PLoS Computational Biology today, may be an important step forward in eventually treating development disorders.

“The model helps make it clear which gene interactions are crucial for normal development to occur, which is very important information,” senior author Professor Geoffrey Goodhill said.

The researchers will now focus on using the model to understand more about the effects of on brain development.

Explore further: Cloning whistle-blower: little change in S. Korea

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

The beginnings of the thinking brain

Jun 28, 2006

Oxford researchers have identified the very first neurons in the human cerebral cortex, the part of the brain that sets us apart from all other animals.

Neuroscientist steers research into neurological disorders

Mar 02, 2010

Scientists at the Queensland Brain Institute have uncovered a vital clue into how the brain is wired, which could eventually steer research into nervous system disorders such as Parkinson's disease and cognitive disorders ...

Discovered key gene for the formation of new neurons

Sep 14, 2009

Scientists discovered a gene - called AP2gamma - crucial for the neural development of the visual cortex, in a discovery that can have implications for the therapeutics of neural regeneration as well as provide new clues ...

Recommended for you

Remains of French ship being reassembled in Texas

7 hours ago

A frigate carrying French colonists to the New World that sank in a storm off the Texas coast more than 300 years ago is being reassembled into a display that archeologists hope will let people walk over ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Sinister181
not rated yet Sep 16, 2010
So, in other words, there is no model?