Tag Archives: Growth cone

neural developmental stages for dummies

Image of a fluorescently-labeled growth cone e...
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I’m no expert when it comes to complex questions like that related to neural development, but to my naive mind the major stages involved in neural development seem to follow the eight stages as outlined in in the eight stage evo-devo model.

The first stage is normally involved with the coming in being of a particular new form, in this case the birth and differentiation of a neuronal cell form its precursor stem cells.

The second stage typically involves motion and in this case refers to the migration of immature neurons from their birthplaces in the embryo to their final positions.

The third stage typically refers to connections and branching and in this case refers to the outgrowth of axons and dendrites from neurons.

The fourth stage is typically a social/ dormant sort of state and in this case refers to the guidance of the motile growth cone through the embryo towards postsynaptic partners.

The fifth stage typically is about achieving closure/integration/individuality and in this case refers to the generation of synapses between these axons and their postsynaptic partner.

After this the sixth ,seventh and eight stage refer to qualitatively different sort of development – that at synapse. We have synapse formation followed by changes in synaptic strength due to learning and memory; and finally the pruning of synapses to yield the best possible redundant neuronal system.

To me everything looks to follow the eight stage pattern; but does these major stages of neural development make sense to you too and seem to follow distinctive stage patterns?

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