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Exact geometrical reconstructions of neuronal architecture are indispensable for the investigation of neuronal function. Neuronal shape is important for the wiring of networks, and dendritic architecture strongly affects neuronal integration and firing properties as demonstrated by modeling approaches. Confocal microscopy allows to scan neurons with(More)
Dendritic architecture provides the structural substrate for myriads of input and output synapses in the brain and for the integration of presynaptic inputs. Understanding mechanisms of evolution and development of neuronal shape and its respective function is thus a formidable problem in neuroscience. A fundamental prerequisite for finding answers is a(More)
We have studied the spontaneous and nerve-evoked synaptic currents during the initial period of nerve-muscle contact in Xenopus cell cultures. The precise timing of the contact was achieved by physically manipulating embryonic muscle cells into contact with co-cultured spinal neurons. Previous studies have shown that physical contact of the muscle membrane(More)
As the nervous system develops, there is an inherent variability in the connections formed between differentiating neurons. Despite this variability, neural circuits form that are functional and remarkably robust. One way in which neurons deal with variability in their inputs is through compensatory, homeostatic changes in their electrical properties. Here,(More)
Drosophila larvae crawl by peristaltic waves of muscle contractions, which propagate along the animal body and involve the simultaneous contraction of the left and right side of each segment. Coordinated propagation of contraction does not require sensory input, suggesting that movement is generated by a central pattern generator (CPG). We characterized(More)
Dendritic filopodia are long thin protrusions occurring predominantly on developing neurons. Data from different systems suggest a range of crucial functions for filopodia in central circuit formation, including steering of dendritic growth, branch formation, synaptogenesis, and spinogenesis. Are the same filopodia competent to mediate all these processes,(More)
Olfactory sensory neurons connect to the antennal lobe of the fly to create the primary units for processing odor cues, the glomeruli. Unique amongst antennal-lobe neurons is an identified wide-field serotonergic neuron, the contralaterally-projecting, serotonin-immunoreactive deutocerebral neuron (CSDn). The CSDn spreads its termini all over the(More)
The dendritic trees of different neuronal types display an astonishing diversity in structure and function. How this diversity is generated remains incompletely understood. However, recent studies have revealed some of the underlying mechanisms by which intrinsic programs of cell-type specification and extrinsic factors exert their effects on the dendritic(More)
We used non-invasive muscle imaging to study the onset of motor activity and emergence of coordinated movement in Drosophila embryos. Earliest movements are myogenic, and neurally controlled muscle contractions first appear with the onset of bursting activity 17 hours after egg laying. Initial episodes of activity are poorly organised and coordinated(More)
Many parts of the nervous system become active before development is complete, including the embryonic spinal cord. Remarkably, although the subject has been debated for over a century (Harrison, 1904), it is still unclear whether such activity is required for normal development of motor circuitry. In Drosophila, embryonic motor output is initially poorly(More)