Electrophysiological Studies of Cultured Mammalian CNS Neurons

  • Thomas G. SmithJr.
  • Jeffery L. Barker
Part of the Current Topics in Neurobiology book series (CTNB)


Neurophysiology is an important area of neuroscience that is concerned in large part with two of the most important functions of neurons and neuronal networks, namely the membrane excitability of the individual elements and the process of intercellular communication of “information” into and throughout the CNS. Neurophysiology is often divided into two broad areas of investigation. One involves quantitative analysis of the basic membrane mechanisms underlying the generation of electrical and chemical signals. The other involves studies into how neuronal messages are communicated in the CNS. The complexity inherent in the vertebrate CNS has made it difficult to study the details underlying the excitable membrane properties and the various modes of intercellular signaling. The complexity of the vertebrate CNS has been reduced to monolayer simplicity through the innovative efforts of many investigators, including and especially Dr. Phillip Nelson and colleagues at the National Institutes of Health , who have developed methods for culturing neurons from the embryonic CNS.


Neutral Amino Acid Spinal Neuron Spinal Cord Neuron Membrane Excitability Unitary Conductance 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas G. SmithJr.
    • 1
  • Jeffery L. Barker
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Neurophysiology, National Institute of Neurological and Communicative Disorders and StrokeNational Institutes of HealthBethesdaUSA

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