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December 14, 1963


JAMA. 1963;186(11):1032. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.03710110084035

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Nobel Prizes for Work on the Nervous System.  — The Nobel award to Hodgkins, Huxley, and Eccles marks another stage in development of knowledge of how the nervous system works. In 1932 Adrian and Sherrington also shared this prize in medicine. Adrian, in Cambridge, had shown that nerve signals are discrete events of fixed size and character; Sherrington, in Liverpool and Oxford, has described the properties of reflex arcs and deduced that transmission of the signals depends upon processes of excitation and inhibition at the junctions, or synapses, where cells touch.Now, in Cambridge, Hodgkins and Huxley, the latter a grandson of Thomas Huxley, have continued the story and given a detailed description of the intimate nature of the nerve impulse. They have shown that the outer cell membrane of the nerve cell imposes restraints upon the exchanges of electrically charged ions between the inside and outside of the cell.

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