Neuronal circuits with whisker-related patterns, such as those observed in the rodent somatosensory barrel cortex, have been widely used as a model system for investigating the anatomical organization, development and physiological roles of functional neuronal circuits. Whisker-related patterns exist not only in the barrel cortex but also in subcortical structures along the trigeminal neuraxis from the brainstem to the cortex. Here, we briefly summarize the organization, formation, and function of each neuronal circuit with whisker-related patterns, including the novel axonal trajectories that we recently found with the aid of in utero electroporation. We also discuss their biological implications as model systems for the studies of functional neuronal circuits.
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