Organizing Principles for Development of Primate Cerebral Cortex

  • Pasko Rakic
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 78)


If the elegant and detailed experiments presented at this meeting have taught us any lesson it is that we cannot explain brain development solely in reductionist terms by dealing with minute details of its component elements and without giving a proper account of properties of the system as a whole. In my presentation, I will emphasize development of the cellular and modular organization of the primate neocortex where the principle of integrality can readily be appreciated. The accumulated evidence indicates that precise neuronal organization of such a complex cellular structure depends, to a large degree, on epigenetic or intercellular rather than in rigid genetic ‘intracellular’ developmental programs. Here I am using the term epigenesis in Waddington’s definition to denote a process by which “development is brought about through a series of control interactions between the various parts” (Waddington, 1956).


Visual Cortex Superior Colliculus Ventricular Zone Cortical Plate Ocular Dominance 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pasko Rakic
    • 1
  1. 1.Section of NeuroanatomyYale University School of MedicineNew HavenUSA

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