16 January 2013
Vol 5, Issue 168

About The Cover

Cover image expansion

ONLINE COVER Neuron Nursery. A sector of a coronal section through the developing human cerebral cortex illustrates the cortical organization at 30 weeks after conception. The radial glia progenitor cells (pink) divide asymmetrically to generate neurons for the cerebral cortex (subventricular zone neural progenitors, purple; migrating neurons, large blue; subplate neurons, green; cortical plate neurons, orange). At this developmental stage, neurogenesis is close to completion. There is elaboration of the somatodendritic morphology of neurons in the cortical plate (yellow) and subplate (grey) and an increase in afferent and efferent connections in these regions. In this week’s Perspective, Molnár and Rutherford discuss two brain developmental studies—one in humans and one in sheep—that suggest that premature birth is associated with delayed maturation of grey matter in the cerebral cortex and medical care that prohibits impairment of growth in premature neonates may enhance cortical development. [CREDIT: Z. MOLNÁR/UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD AND Y. HAMMOND/SCIENCE TRANSLATIONAL MEDICINE]