Encyclopedia of Computational Neuroscience

Living Edition
| Editors: Dieter Jaeger, Ranu Jung

Cortical Maps, Intrinsic Processes

  • Geoffrey J. GoodhillEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-7320-6_671-2


A cortical map is a neural representation of an input space (e.g., the two dimensions of visual space and/or features such as orientation preference and ocular dominance) such that similar features in the input space are represented by neurons which are nearby in the cortex.

Detailed Description

A common way in which axonal projections connect areas in the brain is via topographic maps. Although there is no precise mathematical definition of this term, roughly speaking it means that neurons that are physically nearby in the input region, or alternatively neurons that have similar functional properties, map to neurons that are nearby in the target region. The formation of these maps during neural development depends on both intrinsic (molecularly guided) and extrinsic (activity-dependent) cues and has served as a paradigm model for how such cues guide brain development more generally. Activity-dependent effects on map development are the subject of a separate chapter; here we...


Ocular Dominance Intrinsic Process Ocular Dominance Column Related Neuron Similar Functional Property 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Cang J, Feldheim DA (2013) Developmental mechanisms of topographic map formation and alignment. Annu Rev Neurosci 36:51–77PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Goodhill GJ, Richards LJ (1999) Retinotectal maps: molecules, models, and misplaced data. Trends Neurosci 22:529–534PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Goodhill GJ, Xu J (2005) The development of retinotectal maps: a review of models based on molecular gradients. Network 16:5–34PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Huberman AD, Feller MB, Chapman B (2008) Mechanisms underlying development of visual maps and receptive fields. Annu Rev Neurosci 31:479–509PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Lemke G, Reber M (2005) Retinotectal mapping: new Insights from molecular genetics. Annu Rev Cell Dev Biol 21:551–580PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. McLaughlin T, O’Leary DDM (2005) Molecular gradients and development of retinotopic maps. Annu Rev Neurosci 28:327–355PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Simpson HD, Mortimer D, Goodhill GJ (2009) Theoretical models of neural circuit development. Curr Top Dev Biol 87:1–51PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Sperry RW (1963) Chemoaffinity in the orderly growth of nerve fiber patterns and connections. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 50:703–710PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Udin SB, Fawcett JW (1988) Formation of topographic maps. Annu Rev Neurosci 11:289–327PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Willshaw DJ, Price DJ (2003) Models of topographic map formation. In: Van Ooyen A (ed) Modeling neural development. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, pp 213–244Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Queensland Brain Institute and School of Mathematics and PhysicsUniversity of QueenslandSt LuciaAustralia