This image shows the selective response of a subplate neuron to sounds of different frequencies (horizontal axis) and volume levels (vertical axis). Warmer colors indicate a stronger response. Subplate neurons are among the first neurons to form in the cerebral cortex and were previously thought to serve a primarily structural role in brain development. A new study suggests that these neurons do, in fact, transmit sensory information. This cell only responded to higher frequencies, especially at low volume levels; increased volume expanded the cell's frequency range of response. Prior to this study, the ability of the cortex to selectively respond to certain sounds was thought to emerge later in brain development.