The neocortex is the part of the brain responsible for execution of higher-order brain functions, including cognition, sensory perception, and sophisticated motor control. During evolution, the neocortex has developed an unparalleled neuronal diversity, which still remains partly unclassified and unmapped at the functional level. Here, we broadly review the structural blueprint of the neocortex and discuss the current classification of its neuronal diversity. We then cover the principles and mechanisms that build neuronal diversity during cortical development and consider the impact of neuronal class-specific identity in shaping cortical connectivity and function.

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Photo of Paola Arlotta

Dr. Arlotta is interested in understanding the molecular laws that govern the birth, differentiation and assembly of the cerebral cortex, the part of the brain that controls how we sense, move and think. She integrates developmental and evolutionary knowledge to investigate therapies for brain repair and for modeling neuropsychiatric disease.

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