An emerging concept in neuroscience is that neural plasticity is not mediated only by neurons, but also through dynamic interactions of neurons and glial cells. For example, neuronal activity can regulate the development of myelin producing oligodendrocytes in the central nervous system. Because changes to myelination influence the timing of neural impulse propagation across the brain, active regulation of myelination might be employed to fine-tune circuit function. We will use zebrafish to directly test how activity affects myelination of neural circuits, and in turn their function.
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