The Neuron Doctrine, Redux

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Science  04 Nov 2005:
Vol. 310, Issue 5749, pp. 791-793
DOI: 10.1126/science.1114394

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In their Perspective, Bullock et al. discuss recent evidence suggesting that the Neuron Doctrine, conceived nearly a century ago, cannot encompass important aspects of information processing in the brain. Intercellular communication by gap junctions, slow electrical potentials, action potentials initiated in dendrites, neuromodulatory effects, extrasynaptic release of neurotransmitters, and information flow between neurons and glia all contribute to information processing. Revisiting the Neuron Doctrine suggests that future research outside its limits may lead to new insights into the unique capabilities of the human brain.