IP(3)-dependent calcium-induced calcium release (ICICR) is a general mechanism of calcium release that occurs in pyramidal neurones of hippocampus, the neocortex and in Purkinje cells of the cerebellar cortex. When ICICR is initiated synaptically in dendrites of neurones from brain slices, calcium waves can propagate bidirectionally to the soma and distal dendrites. ICICR relies on the coincidence of a calcium influx triggered by the backpropagation of action potentials and the activation of cholinergic, serotoninergic or glutamatergic metabotropic receptors. The involvement of IP(3) receptors (IP(3)R) in ICICR is clearly established. In contrast, ryanodine receptors (RyR) do not seem necessary for the triggering and propagation of calcium waves, but ICICR depends on calcium stores sensitive to ryanodine. Thus, the role of RyR remains to be established. ICICR provides a mechanism for global calcium signalling in neurones that may be involved in the reinforcement of Hebbian plasticity, heterosynaptic plasticity and cell death.