Buszaki neuroscience research published in current journals 'Science' & 'Nature'

ined by the biophysical properties of single neurons rather than by complicated rules within neuronal networks as previously suggested."

June 14 Science article: Wiring the Newborn Brain

To get a better understanding of how an immature brain network develops over time, Buzsaki's research appearing in the journal Science, "Correlated Bursts of Activity in the Neonatal Hippocampus In Vivo," reveals findings that have possible implications for a newborn's brain. Buzsaki collaborated with Xavier Leinekugel, Rustem Khazipov, Robert Cannon, Hajime Hirase, and Yehezkel Ben-Ari from the Inserm, Marseilles, France.

Previous Buzsaki research has indicated that in a sleeping adult's brain, hippoccampal neurons discharge together in bursts, which serves to consolidate information learned during the day into long-term memories. In this research on newborn rat pups, Buzsaki indicates that similar patterns of wave-like bursts were found. "In fact, they are the only patterns in the hippocampus of the newborn that can be reasonably associated with plasticity of neuronal connections," he added.

Buzsaki noted that the old-fashioned assumption about brain development was that the environment imposes its effect by way of inputs, and the inputs determine how the connections are wired. But he said that view no longer holds since "all parents know that drugs that have beneficial effects in adults can have all sorts of deleterious effects in the brains of children."

Buzsaki indicated that the wave-like bursts play a critical role in shaping the connections in the newborn brain. "Since we all believe that the developing brain is the most plastic, the question is: What patterns secure this?" Since the rat pups have closed eyes and ears, their brain filters the outside information, and "during the second week of life, the adult-type patterns emerge," Buzsaki said. This research was made possible by using new techniques for measuring cellular activity i

Contact: Helen Paxton
Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey

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