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Stages of neuronal network formation

Abstract : Graph theoretical approaches have become a powerful tool for investigating the architecture and dynamics of complex networks. The topology of network graphs revealed small-world properties for very different real systems among these neuronal networks. In this study, we observed the early development of mouse retinal ganglion cell (RGC) networks in vitro using time-lapse video microscopy. By means of a time-resolved graph theoretical analysis of the connectivity, shortest path length and the edge length, we were able to discover the different stages during the network formation. Starting from single cells, at the first stage neurons connected to each other ending up in a network with maximum complexity. In the further course, we observed a simplification of the network which manifested in a change of relevant network parameters such as the minimization of the path length. Moreover, we found that RGC networks self-organized as small-world networks at both stages; however, the optimization occurred only in the second stage.
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Lydia Woiterski, Thomas Claudepierre, Robert Luxenhofer, Rainer Jordan, Josef A. Kaes. Stages of neuronal network formation. New Journal of Physics, Institute of Physics: Open Access Journals, 2013, 15, pp.025029. ⟨10.1088/1367-2630/15/2/025029⟩. ⟨hal-01561286⟩

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