What process determines the brain’s shape? In the very first step, the neural plate, a sheet-like cell layer, curves to form the neural tube. Now we have seen this process in action. Researchers at the National Institute for Basic Biology have shown that during the process of neural tube formation, a transient increase in the concentration of calcium ions in cells causes these morphological changes and is essential for neural tube formation. The research was conducted as a joint research project with the National Institute for Basic Biology, Kyoto University, Osaka University, and the University of Alberta. The researchers observed the process during neural tube formation in the embryos of African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis) using the fluorescent protein GECO.