Cell-type identity: a key to unlocking the function of neocortical circuits

Solange P. Brown, Shaul Hestrin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


A central tenet of neuroscience is that the precise patterns of connectivity among neurons in a given brain area underlie its function. However, assigning any aspect of perception or behavior to the wiring of local circuits has been challenging. Here, we review recent work in sensory neocortex that demonstrates the power of identifying specific cell types when investigating the functional organization of brain circuits. These studies indicate that knowing the identity of both the presynaptic and postsynaptic cell type is key when analyzing neocortical circuits. Furthermore, identifying the circuit organization of particular cell types in the neocortex allows the recording and manipulation of each cell type's activity and the direct testing of its functional role in perception and behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)415-421
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in Neurobiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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