Growth morphology of two-dimensional insect neural networks

Orit Shefi, Eshel Ben-Jacob, Amir Ayali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


How a collection of single neurons self-organize to form a complex functional system, the neural network, is a fundamental question. Two-dimensional in vitro invertebrate preparations offer an attractive model system to tackle this question due to the large size of the neurons, and their ability to grow in relative isolation as well as to develop elaborate networks. We culture locust neurons, monitor and analyze their morphology and growth process under various density conditions. The neurons actively target neighbor cells, and their structure is affected by neuronal vicinity. As the network forms there is a tendency for simplification of neuronal morphology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)635-643
Number of pages9
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Partially supported by the USA–Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF) 9800456 to A.A. We thank Mrs. Inna Brinis for technical assistance.


  • Culture
  • Growth morphology
  • Locust
  • Neural network
  • Self-avoidance
  • Self-organization


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