Synapse development: still looking for the forest, still lost in the trees
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- Garner, C.C., Waites, C.L. & Ziv, N.E. Cell Tissue Res (2006) 326: 249. doi:10.1007/s00441-006-0278-1
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Synapse development in the vertebrate central nervous system is a highly orchestrated process occurring not only during early stages of brain development, but also (to a lesser extent) in the mature nervous system. During development, the formation of synapses is intimately linked to the differentiation of neuronal cells, the extension of their axons and dendrites, and the course wiring of the nervous system. Subsequently, the stabilization, elimination, and strengthening of synaptic contacts is coupled to the refinement of axonal and dendritic arbors, to the establishment of functionally meaningful connections, and probably also to the day-to-day acquisition, storage, and retrieval of memories, higher order thought processes, and behavioral patterns.