The development of the human cerebral cortex is a dynamic process that can be divided into partially overlapping stages occurring during several gestational weeks (Barkovich et al., 2005). Migration of postmitotic neurons from the ventricular zone to form the cortical plate comprises one of the most critical stages in brain development. When migration is complete, the cortex is a six-layered structure, with each layer comprising different types of neurons that form discrete connections within the CNS and perform distinct functions (O'Rourke et al., 1992). When neurons reach their destination, they stop migrating and order themselves into specific architectonic patterns in brain development (Fig. 21.1A). Understanding this complex process has progressed based on studies of human malformations and mouse models with deficient neuronal migration, particularly the malformation known as lissencephaly (LIS).
ASJC Scopus subject areas