A central debate regarding neocortical function concerns the degree to which the underlying microcircuitry is stereotypically organized. Stereotypy reflects invariance in structure and function, as a result of common genetic templates and environmental conditions, whereas uniqueness can be caused by genetic variations, differences in environmental conditions as well as random processes. Stereotypy is an appealing concept because it provides strong support for determinism in the formation of neuronal microcircuits and in the relationship between their specific structure and function