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Dendrites$
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Greg Stuart, Nelson Spruston, and Michael Häusser

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780198566564

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198566564.001.0001

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Evolution and scaling of dendrites

Evolution and scaling of dendrites

Chapter:
(p.42) (p.43) Chapter 2 Evolution and scaling of dendrites
Source:
Dendrites
Author(s):

Gayle M Wittenberg

Samuel S.-H Wang

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198566564.003.0002

Dendrites, the neuronal processes that receive synaptic inputs, are found in all nervous systems. The great diversity of dendrites, both within individual species and across phylogeny, reflects their adaptation to particular functional roles. This chapter uses this diversity to consider dendrites from an evolutionary perspective. It first describes some principles seen in the diversity of dendritic forms. It then seeks to explain this diversity in terms of tradeoffs among functional optimization constraints; mechanistic limits set by the available molecular toolkit; and developmental mechanisms, the targets upon which selection has acted. Finally, based on these perspectives, it identifies areas ripe for future investigation.

Keywords:   neuronal processes, dendrites, synaptic inputs, nervous system, phylogeny, evolution

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