Self-organizing Neural Maps: From Retina to Tectum describes the underlying processes that determine how retinal fibers self-organize into an orderly visual map. The formation of neural maps is a fundamental organizing concept in neurodevelopment that can shed light on developmental mechanisms and the functions of genes elsewhere. The book presents a summary of research in the retinotectal field with an ultimate goal of synthesizing how underlying mechanisms in neural development harmoniously come together to create life. A broad spectrum of neuroscientists and biomedical scientists with differing backgrounds and varied expertise will find this book useful.
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1. Overview and Basics of the Retinotectal Projection 2. Early Work Supports, but Also Contradicts, Rigid Chemoaffinity 3. The search for chemoaffinity molecules
verification of molecular gradients 4. Plasticity after surgical ablations shows the limits of chemoaffinity 5. Natural Plasticity
Analysis of the effects of divergent retinal and tectal growth on the projection 6. Specification and developmental genetics of Eph/ephrin gradients 7. Growth of retinal axons along the visual pathway 8. Genetic Analysis of the molecular gradients defining map formation 9. Activity mechanisms shape central retinal projections 10. Activity: Molecular signaling to growth mechanisms
Dr. Schmidt is Professor Emeritus at the University of Albany (SUNY) in the Department of Biological Sciences. He has worked in the retinotectal area since the early 1970s and published more than 60 articles and chapters. For the last four decades, he was Professor of Biological Sciences at SUNY-Albany, serving for 25 years as the Director of the Center for Neuroscience Research. In the 1990s, he together with Professor Jonathan Wolpaw organized an international conference on the wider subject and edited a volume of the proceedings for the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, entitled Activity-Driven CNS Changes in Learning and Development (Volume 627). This volume was the NY Academy's bestselling issue of all time.