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Nat Rev Neurosci. 2010 Jun;11(6):429-36. doi: 10.1038/nrn2835. Epub 2010 May 6.

Insights into the life and work of Sir Charles Sherrington.

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Zoltán Molnár is at the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, Le Gros Clark Building, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3QX, UK.


Much of the original historical data behind the greatest discoveries in neuroscience are now lost. However, a recently rediscovered box of histological slides belonging to Sir Charles Sherrington, a pioneer in spinal cord and motor control research, has survived at the University of Oxford since 1936. Sherrington coined the term 'synapse', developed the concept of inhibition in neuronal function, demonstrated the integration of sensory and motor actions of the nervous system, and examined the synaptic activity of single neurons and their integration into neuronal circuits. Here, we explore Sherrington's lifetime of discoveries, with reference to histological specimens from his box of slides.

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