Callosal projection neurons (CPN) are a diverse population of neocortical projection neurons that connect the two hemispheres of the cerebral cortex via the corpus callosum. They play key roles in high-level associative connectivity, and have been implicated in cognitive syndromes of high-level associative dysfunction, such as autism spectrum disorders. CPN evolved relatively recently compared to other cortical neuron populations, and have undergone disproportionately large expansion from mouse to human. While much is known about the anatomical trajectory of developing CPN axons, and progress has been made in identifying cellular and molecular controls over midline crossing, only recently have molecular-genetic controls been identified that specify CPN populations, and help define CPN subpopulations. In this review, we discuss the development, diversity and evolution of CPN.
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