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Birth gets the brain ready to sense the world

Neurons that process sensory information are arranged in precise, well-characterized maps that are crucial for translating perception into understanding. A study reveals that the actual act of birth in mice causes a reduction in a brain chemical called serotonin in the newborn mice, triggering sensory maps to form. The findings shed light on the role of a dramatic environmental event in the development of neural circuits and reveal that birth prepares newborns for survival.
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