Info wanted on biomechanics and neural processes

Eli Meir meir at
Mon Jan 31 00:27:12 EST 1994

I'm not interested in direct effects on the ion channels.  I'm
interested in how a change in the shape of a neuronal process could
effect its electrical properties, and thus perhaps lead to effects on
the voltage in the neuron.  For instance, as an extreme example, I
would guess that if you stretched an axon out, the cross-sectional area
would get really small leading to a high internal resistance, coupled
with a lower density of channels along the length of the axon, and if
it was stretched far enough then these effects wouldn't allow
propagation of the action potential.  Or, as another perhaps more
likely scenario, stretching or deforming a dendrite should change its
length constant, and thus change how much it contributes to the
summation voltage at the point of action potential generation.
    I'm not by any means an expert in neurobiology, I have just started
thinking about this in a round-about way, and am wondering if any of
those effects make any sense, and/or have been seen by anyone.


Eli Meir
Dept of Zoology, Univ of Washington
meir at

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