Valenstein, E. S. (2002). The discovery of chemical neurotransmitters. Brain & Cognition, 49(1), 73-95.
Neurotransmitters have become such an intrinsic part of our theories about brain function that many today are unaware of how difficult it was to prove their existence or the protracted dispute over the nature of synaptic transmission. The story is important not only because it is fascinating science history, but also because it exemplifies much of what is best in science and deserving to be emulated. The friendships formed among such major figures in this history as Henry Dale, Otto Loewi, Wilhelm Feldberg, Walter Cannon, and others extended over two world wars, enriching their lives and facilitating their research. Even the dispute--the "war of the sparks and the soups"--between neurophysiologists and pharmacologists over whether synaptic transmission is electrical or chemical played a positive role in stimulating the research needed to provide convincing proof. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2003 APA, all rights reserved)Author's email address