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The third Symposium of the Foundation for Life Sciences was held in February 1983 at the Newport Inn Conference Centre in Sydney. It was direced towards an understanding of the molecular neuropathology of muscle and nerve under a wide variety of conditions that may be induced by external agents or genetic lesions. The first session on experimental neurology explored the processes involved in maintenance of nerve and muscle function. This included many papers on myelination, studies on immune reactions affecting nerves, on synapses, and on neuronal development. This section was expanded to explore the control of muscle function in nerves, including a discussion on cross reinnervation. Toxic models of disease in the nervous system were then discussed, including pathological states induced by physical agents such as kainic acid, diphtheria toxin, and IDPN. A new dimension was added to the Symposium when for the first time psychologists participated and contributed to the session on external stressors and their effects on behavior. Heavy metals, herbicides, repetitive work, anxiety, and their effects on behavior and health were all represented. The discussion in this session attracted much interest from the participants, particularly the basic scientists.