Evolutionary Origin of Electrical Excitability
Other chapters in this volume invoke synapses, transmitters, channels, and second messengers as cellular elements of learning. This chapter considers the evolutionary origins of these elements, particularly ionic channels. * Apparently each of the elements is present in the first animals with a nervous system, and we are as yet not aware of major improvements made through subsequent evolution. Thus, if these are indeed the prerequisites of learning, we can expect that mechanisms of learning have broad similarities across taxonomic boundaries. More complex accounts of this subject have been given in Hille (1984, 1987), where full references for many of the statements made here may be found.
KeywordsGiant Axon Electrical Excitability Full Reference Animal Phyla Artificial Pond Water
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