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The characterization of individual neurons by Golgi and Cajal has been the basis of neuroanatomy for a century. A new challenge is to anatomically describe, at cellular resolution, complete local circuits that can drive behavior. In this essay, we review the possibilities to obtain a model cortical column by using in vitro and in vivo pair recordings, followed by anatomical reconstructions of the projecting and target cells. These pairs establish connection modules that eventually may be useful to synthesize an average cortical column in silico. Together with data on sensory evoked neuronal activity measured in vivo, this will allow to model the anatomical and functional cellular basis of behavior based on more realistic assumptions than previously attempted.

Original publication




Journal article


Brain Res Rev

Publication Date





193 - 203


Animals, Cerebral Cortex, Computer Simulation, Humans, Models, Neurological, Nerve Net, Neural Pathways, Neurons