Cortical Neurons Operate as a "Holistic" unit:  The Dendrite, Soma, and Axon Work Together and Communicate information between the various parts through changes in the membrane potential (analog mode).  In addition, information is also communicated through the pattern of action potentials generated.

These results indicate that communication within and between cells in the brain operates through a mix of graded and triggered release of transmitter.

Figure 25. Although its popular to emphasize the individual components of the neuron and how they operate as individuals, our data emphasize that the dendrites, cell body, and axon can operate together as a unified whole, as a "holistic neuron".   Example recordings of synaptic activity obtained simultaneously from the dendrite and cell body, or the cell body and axon or a layer 5 pyramidal cell are shown.  Note how simililar the patterns of activity are in the different parts of the neuron.