Neuron charging

Michael Michalchik michalch at
Thu Aug 29 12:59:59 EST 1996

Hi you need to get a good book on neuroscience such as:

The physiology of excitable cells, or the principles of neuroscience

(preferably both)

and look up the following topics:

Temporal summation
Spatial summation
Post tetanic potentiation (PTP)
Long term potentiation (LTP)
"axon hillock" or "zone of initiation"
refractory period
the action potential
excitatory transmission 
inhibitory transmission
Long term depression (LTD)
Time constant. tau
Spatial contant. lambda
Electrical and chemical gating of channels

I am not trying to overwhelm you. Most of these subjects shouldn't be 
too hard if you have an electronics background. Some of them you will 
only need a cursory glance at to see what is importent to you.

The short answer to your question is yes. But the charge disperses 
through the volume of the cell and leaks out through the mebrane, and 
gets pumped out actively. There are well developed equations that 
accurately predict the dynamics of cells with simple structues. You 
should also know that there are enhancements in transmission associated 
with synapses that have been active. This is not just the neural 
learning phenomena that you are familiar with, but refelect the fact the 
the presynaptic neuron will release more transmitter on its second shot 
due to the accumulation of release related chemicals in the presynaptic 

Your idea is an interesting one, poke around a bit before you decide 
what is importent.

Michael Michalchik

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