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Dominic John Repici
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Pathfinding (also: path-finding, axonal pathfinding, axon guidance) is an umbrella term that covers all the mechanisms used by biological neurons to effect growth of their axons toward a given synaptic destination (or set of destinations). Similar mechanisms are thought to effect the growth and development of dendrites in developing brains.
Some examples of the kinds of mechanisms that are included within the "pathfinding" umbrella include: growth cones, various affinities, and aversions to molecular substances, as well the spatial and temporal patterns, and gradients in which concentrations of those substances may be configured. There are other mechanisms that fit under this umbrella term as well, such as adhesion molecules and mechanisms.
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In Netlab pathfinding similarly refers to abstractions of the pathfinding mechanisms employed by biological systems. Obviously it only includes those that are currently implemented in Netlab. These include growth cones, and receptor pads, for example. Because it is an umbrella term, it can also refer to things like CIs, when they are serving to aid in pathfinding. That is, CIs may be considered part of pathfinding when they are acting as attractive, or repulsive agents for growth cones (for example).