How is passive current propagated?

Jeremy Leipzig leipzjn9 at
Mon Oct 28 23:18:54 EST 1996

Does anyone know exactly how passive current spreads down a dendrite or
myelinated axon. One of my professors says the depolarization moves in
successive collisions of repelling cations, in a manner not unlike the
propagation of sound waves. Another one says that the electric field
created by incoming cations is enough to depolarize adjoining regions,
implying that passive current spreads close to the speed of light. I have
also heard in intro courses that simple diffusion of the cations is
responsible. Which, if any, is the correct explanation?

Jeremy Leipzig

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