We would like to draw your attention to a series of recent papers dedicated to models of structural plasticity. Developing as well as mature brains are much less hard-wired than traditionally thought. Formation of new connections and breaking of existing connections (structural plasticity) by dendritic spine and axonal bouton turnover, as well as re-routing of axonal branches, can cause a dramatic rewiring of brain connectivity, which so far has largely been disregarded in neuronal network models.
The following papers describe novel models of structural plasticity:
Homeostatic structural plasticity increases the efficiency of small-world networks
Markus Butz, Ines D. Steenbuck and Arjen van Ooyen
Front. Synaptic Neurosci., 01 April 2014. DOI: 10.3389/fnsyn.2014.00007
(Open access) http://journal.frontiersin.org/Journal/10.3389/fnsyn.2014.00007/abstract
A simple rule for dendritic spine and axonal bouton formation can account for cortical reorganization after focal retinal lesions
Markus Butz and Arjen van Ooyen
PloS Computational Biology, 10 October 2013. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1003259
(Open access) http://www.ploscompbiol.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pcbi.1003259
Van Ooyen, A. (2011). Using theoretical models to analyse neural development. Nature Reviews Neuroscience 12: 311-326.
Butz, M., Worgotter, F., and Van Ooyen, A. (2009). Activity-dependent structural plasticity. Brain Research Reviews 60: 287-305.
Arjen van Ooyen