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The early nerve gets the brain space

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10:13am, April 18, 2001

An odd little animal that uses the touch of its sensitive nose to experience the world is teaching biologists how nerves stake their claim to territory in the brain. Kenneth C. Catania of Vanderbilt University in Nashville finds that sensory nerves of the star-nosed mole may race to occupy brain space early in development. He makes the controversial suggestion that nerves in other animals lay claim to disproportionately large areas of brain surface by showing up early.

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