Ion channel "quantization"

RAdams2000 radams2000 at
Mon Aug 12 20:26:08 EST 1996

Here is a basic question from a "novice" in the field.
I have read that at the dendrites of a neuron, the current flow into the
neuron across the synaptic junction consists of some large number
on ionic channels that are either completely open or completely closed.
So it would seem that, according to how many channels are involved,
the current flow into the soma is highly "quantized", meaning that only a 
finite number of possible currents can exist. Does this contribute to 
a fundemental noise mechanism in the process of neural firing? Can this
noise mechanism be measured accurately? Is it modelled in any of the
popular neural simulation packages??
Thanks for any replies!

Bob Adams

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