The neuron doctrine – that individual neurons are the functional unit of the nervous system – has been the conceptual framework for modern neuroscience for over a century.  However, that doctrine has been dissolving under new evidence from multi-electrode recording.  Observations of multi-functional “mixed selectivity” neurons, ensembles forming from synchronized rhythmic activity between neurons, etc. is suggesting that ensembles of neurons, not individual neurons, are the functional units.  Rafel Yuste walks us through some of the evidence.

Yuste, Rafael. “From the neuron doctrine to neural networks.” Nature Reviews Neuroscience (2015).

About the Author

The Miller Lab uses experimental and theoretical approaches to study the neural basis of the high-level cognitive functions that underlie complex goal-directed behavior.