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Horm Behav. 2010 Sep;58(4):555-62. doi: 10.1016/j.yhbeh.2010.06.012. Epub 2010 Jun 23.

The neuroendocrine action potential. Winner of the 2008 Frank Beach Award in Behavioral Neuroendocrinology.

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Section of Integrative Biology, Institute for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Institute for Neuroscience, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712, USA.


Animals are remarkably well equipped to respond to changes in their environment across different time scales and levels of biological organization. Here, I introduce a novel perspective that incorporates the three main processes the nervous system uses to integrate and process information: electrophysiological, genomic, and neuroendocrine action potentials. After discussing several examples of neuroendocrine action potentials, I lay out the commonalities of these temporally organized responses and how they might be interrelated with electrophysiological activity and genomic responses. This framework provides a novel outlook on longstanding questions in behavioral neuroendocrinology and suggests exciting new avenues for further research that will integrate across disciplines and levels of biological organization.

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