The Adaptive Brain: Glenn Hatton and the Supraoptic Nucleus

G. Leng, F. C. Moos, W. E. Armstrong

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

In December 2009, Glenn Hatton died, and neuroendocrinology lost a pioneer who had done much to forge our present understanding of the hypothalamus and whose productivity had not faded with the passing years. Glenn, an expert in both functional morphology and electrophysiology, was driven by a will to understand the significance of his observations in the context of the living, behaving organism. He also had the wit to generate bold and challenging hypotheses, the wherewithal to expose them to critical and elegant experimental testing, and a way with words that gave his papers and lectures clarity and eloquence. The hypothalamo-neurohypophysial system offered a host of opportunities for understanding how physiological functions are fulfilled by the electrical activity of neurones, how neuronal behaviour changes with changing physiological states, and how morphological changes contribute to the physiological response. In the vision that Glenn developed over 35 years, the neuroendocrine brain is as dynamic in structure as it is adaptable in function. Its adaptability is reflected not only by mere synaptic plasticity, but also by changes in neuronal morphology and in the morphology of the glial cells. Astrocytes, in Glenn's view, were intimate partners of the neurones, partners with an essential role in adaptation to changing physiological demands.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)318-329
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Neuroendocrinology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2010

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • oxytocin
  • vasopressin
  • hypothalamus
  • astrocytes
  • pituicytes
  • pituitary


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