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Book and Media Reviews
February 15, 2006

Neuroscience, History

Author Affiliations

Book and Media Reviews Section Editor: Harriet S. Meyer, MD, Contributing Editor, JAMA.

JAMA. 2006;295(7):829-830. doi:10.1001/jama.295.7.829

The electrical impulse travels down the nerve, chemical transmission occurs at the neuromuscular junction, and the muscle contracts. How simple it seems. But the middle step, chemical transmission, proved difficult for the mind to accept. Electricity is fast; chemistry is slow; somehow, everyone thought, electricity must jump directly to the muscle. This book is the story of how a few minds were slowly changed as experimental evidence accumulated until science accepted what now seems self-evident. The “soups,” in this small scientific war, won out over the “sparks.”

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