Two forms of electrical transmission between neurons
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Electrical signaling is a cardinal feature of the nervous system and endows it with the capability of quickly reacting to changes in the environment. Although synaptic communication between nerve cells is perceived to be mainly chemically mediated, electrical synaptic interactions also occur. Two different strategies are responsible for electrical communication between neurons. One is the consequence of low resistance intercellular pathways, called “gap junctions”, for the spread of electrical currents between the interior of two cells. The second occurs in the absence of cell-to-cell contacts and is a consequence of the extracellular electrical fields generated by the electrical activity of neurons. Here, we place present notions about electrical transmission in a historical perspective and contrast the contributions of the two different forms of electrical communication to brain function.
© The Author(s), 2018. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience 11 (2018): 427, doi:10.3389/fnmol.2018.00427.
Suggested CitationFrontiers in Molecular Neuroscience 11 (2018): 427
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