Sloan Center for Theoretical Neurobiology, The Salk Institute
What are the optimal sizes of axonal and dendritic arbors?
We propose a rule relating inter-neuronal connectivity to the cellular morphology. Specifically, we consider a topographic projection between two neuronal layers with different densities of neurons. Given the wiring diagram we find the widths of axonal and dendritic arbors which minimize total wirelength. Neurons of the less numerous layer have wider arbors than the neurons of the more numerous layer. The predictions of this rule agree with the available data on retinal neurons whose morphology and connectivity are well studied. This rule may be used for deducing inter-neuronal connections from the neuronal shapes.