This book summarizes the most recent data on the molecular and cellular mechanisms which determine the unique properties of nerve cells - their ability to differentiate, establish connections to each other, and to form the nervous system with its immense capability for receiving, analysing,and storing information about our external and internal world. The key role of calcium ions in this process is particularly explored, along with nervous system function in aging and neural pathology. The author, based at a high-profile research unit in the Ukraine, is able to draw on significantnew research which has not been widely published. Plasticity in nerve cell function will be of interest to researchers and research students in the fields of neurophysiology, cellular physiology, biophysics, and neurochemistry in particular. It will also be of relevance to researchers and medicaldoctors interested in neuropathology and aging.