Wiring optimization can relate neuronal structure and function

Beth L. Chen, David H. Hall, Dmitri B. Chklovskii

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

424 Scopus citations


We pursue the hypothesis that neuronal placement in animals minimizes wiring costs for given functional constraints, as specified by synaptic connectivity. Using a newly compiled version of the Caenorhabditis elegans wiring diagram, we solve for the optimal layout of 279 nonpharyngeal neurons. In the optimal layout, most neurons are located close to their actual positions, suggesting that wiring minimization is an important factor. Yet some neurons exhibit strong deviations from "optimal" position. We propose that biological factors relating to axonal guidance and command neuron functions contribute to these deviations. We capture these factors by proposing a modified wiring cost function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4723-4728
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number12
StatePublished - Mar 21 2006


  • Caenorhabditis elegans
  • Optimal placement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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