Joseph D. Robinson

in Mechanisms of Synaptic Transmission

Published in print June 2001 | ISBN: 9780195137613
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199848164 | DOI:

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When formulated late in the 19th century, the Neuron Theory depicted discrete nerve cells interacting at their points of contact. Nerve impulses, then often identified with electrical signals travelling along neuronal processes, would pass electrically from neuron to neuron at these synaptic contacts. Over the next century, however, this view changed dramatically. Neurons could inhibit as well as excite other neurons; communication between cells was generally not electrical but achieved through the release of chemicals that then bound to specific receptors to elicit excitation or inhibition. By 1990 the formulations of cellular mechanisms were vastly richer in detail, with hosts of new entities linked through new processes. These understandings then directed and enabled new experimental manipulations for continuing explorations as well as for improving therapeutic interventions.

Keywords: Neuron Theory; nerve impulses; neurons; cellular mechanisms

Chapter.  3724 words. 

Subjects: Neuroscience

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