20-23 september 2017. Pécs - Hungary
Wired to be human: unique features of brain development (Ivica Kostovic)
Wired to be human: unique features of brain development (Ivica Kostovic) 2017-09-21 - 11:00-13:00
Venue: Plenary Hall
Unique genetic, molecular, cellular and anatomical features that characterize development of complex connectivity of the human cortex, throughout fetal life, childhood, adolescence and young adulthood, encourage multidisciplinary effort, application of new technologies and sharing of data amongst the researchers.


Ivica Kostovic (Chair)
Croatian Society for Neuroscience, President



11:00 – 11:30 Pasko Rakic (Co-Chair)
Duberg Professor of Neuroscience and Neurology
Yale University School of Medicine, USA
Proliferative and migratory neurogenetic processes leading to formation of large primate and human brain ” 

11:30 – 12:00 Prof. Zdravko Petanjek
Department of Anatomy and Clinical Anatomy (Head)
Croatian Institute for Brain Research
School of Medicine, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia
Development of interneurons as key players of short and local circuitry in the human brain

12:00 – 12:30 Zoltán Molnár
Professor of Developmental Neurobiology
University of Oxford, UK
Development of neuronal diversity and molecular mechanisms in formation of complex cortical connectivity

12:30 – 13:00 Ivica Kostovic (Chair)
Professor Emeritus of Neuroscience and Anatomy
University of Zagreb School of Medicine, Croatia
Wiring and compartmentalization specific for the human fetal brain 




Cognitive, behavioural, social and communicative functions which make us human are biologically comprised in underlying wiring of the neural circuits of the cerebral cortex.  It is one of the greatest challenges of neuroscience to answer how this complex circuitry develops in humans. We need to determine genetic, molecular, cellular and anatomical features specific for development of connectivity in the human brain. It is particularly interesting to answer how these complex neurogenetic processes are being modified in permanent interaction between genetic and environmental factors during life-long development, which begins early in fetal life and finishes during young adulthood.

In the spirit of renewed focus on the development of the human cortex, in this symposium we will present and discuss neurogenetic processes that seem to be unique for the human cortex.


  • The first goal is to identify specific factors in production (proliferation, decision by division) of large number of neurons and mechanisms of migration which are unique for primate brain (Pasko Rakic, Yale).
  • The second goal is presentation of data on human gene expression underlying novel cytoarchitectonics (new regions), neuronal phenotypes (new type of neurons) and connectivity (new pathways). Differences in gene expression, which do not exist in rodents, will be discussed. (Nenad Sestan, Yale).
  • Furthermore, great diversity and developmental origin of interneurons characteristic for human brain will be described based on original data (Monique Esclapez, INSERM).
  • The intriguing question of molecular factors which influence development of connectivity and emergence of neuronal diversity in evolutionary expanded brain will be discussed based on recent research using new techniques (Zoltan Molnar, Oxford).
  • Finally, the concept of transient arrangement of circuitry elements, growing pathways and transient compartments (subplate) will be presented in order to explain how enormous expansion of connections develops in the human brain (Ivica Kostovic, CIBR). The importance of research on human embryonic and fetal tissue will be addressed in each presentation.