In 1981, I published a paper in the first issue of the Journal of Neuroscience with my postdoctoral mentor, Alan Pearlman. It reported a quantitative analysis of the receptive field properties of neurons in reeler mouse visual cortex and the surprising conclusion that although the neuronal somas were strikingly malpositioned, their receptive fields were unchanged. This suggested that in mouse cortex at least, neuronal circuits have very robust systems in place to ensure the proper formation of connections. This had the unintended consequence of transforming me from an electrophysiologist into a cellular and molecular neuroscientist who studied cell adhesion molecules and the molecular mechanisms they use to regulate axon growth. It took me a surprisingly long time to appreciate that your science is driven by the people around you and by the technologies that are locally available. As a professional puzzler, I like all different kinds of puzzles, but the most fun puzzles involve playing with other puzzlers. This is my story of learning how to find like-minded puzzlers to solve riddles about axon growth and regeneration.
ASJC Scopus subject areas