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Minds Behind the BrainA history of the pioneers and their discoveries$
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Stanley Finger

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195181821

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195181821.001.0001

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Otto Loewi and Henry Dale: The Discovery of Neurotransmitters

Otto Loewi and Henry Dale: The Discovery of Neurotransmitters

Chapter:
(p.259) 16 Otto Loewi and Henry Dale: The Discovery of Neurotransmitters
Source:
Minds Behind the Brain
Author(s):

Stanley Finger (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195181821.003.0016

In the opening decades of the 20th century, there would be new ways of thinking about how neurons communicate with each other and how they stimulate muscles. The earlier idea of a continuous, unbroken electrical wave shooting from one neuron to another would be challenged by the notion of chemicals, called neurotransmitters, being released at synapses. What led scientists to conclude that axon endings liberate chemicals to stimulate or inhibit other cells? And what were some of the early ramifications of this important discovery? The answers to these questions can be appreciated only by looking at the fives of two very different 20th-century scientists, Otto Loewi and Henry Dale. This chapter looks at the work of Loewi and Dale on neurotransmitters, adrenalin, autonomous nervous system, chemical transmission, ergot, noradrenaline, acetylcholine, and skeletal muscles.

Keywords:   Otto Loewi, Henry Dale, neurotransmitters, adrenalin, autonomous nervous system, chemical transmission, ergot, noradrenaline, acetylcholine, skeletal muscles

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