Chemical and Electrical Synaptic Transmission in the Cnidaria

  • Andrew N. Spencer
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 188)


It was probably in an ancestral cnidarian that the earliest evolutionary experiments in neuro-neuronal and neuro-effector communication were played out. By studying present day cnidarians, we hope we are examining those synaptic mechanisms which were selected for, perhaps as far back as the Pre-Cambrian era, and which have been conserved with only minimal modification. Of course, we cannot be certain that physiological evolution proceeded at the same rate as morphological changes, nevertheless, the close resemblance of extant forms to fossilized imprints of cnidarians from this era (for example the Ediacara fauna of Australia) hint of slow rates of evolution.


Transmitter Release Nerve Ring Chemical Synapse Postsynaptic Cell Synaptic Delay 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew N. Spencer
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada

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