Neuron transmission speeds, relative to size

Jim Hutchins hutchins at
Wed Jul 10 17:34:38 EST 1996

David Monteith-Hodge (david at wrote:
: During my research I cam upon an article which stated "larger brain cells
: conduct impulses faster than smaller ones".
: I would not know where to start to discover the truth of this statement, but
: need to know something about it as it determines whether I design and build a
: large sequence of experiments. Would one of you erudite folk be able to throw
: some light onto this for me? You would make a mature student ver happy.


Welcome.  I only have one thing to add to Dr. Scaggs' excellent response.
You might try Jack Noble and Tsien, _Electric Current Flow in Excitable
Cells_, for a comprehensive reference on questions such as these.  Aidley
_The Physiology of Exciatable Cells_ and Junge _Nerve and Muscle
Excitation_ are also quite good and *much* more accessible, but if you
seek an engineering perspective on models of nerve cells, you can't beat
Jack, Noble and Tsien.

Jim Hutchins    hutchins at   hutchins at
Annie the Aust Cattle Dog // Kodiak the Norwegian Elkhound
"Morde diem" ****** Annie's motto ****** "Bite the Day"

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