basic question

COLLEEN M. SPECHT v102nq9f at
Sun Sep 29 00:47:39 EST 1996

In article <52kil0$opn at>, veery at (Horace Veery) writes:
>I have a basic question regarding neurons.  I know that neural arbors are 
>generally characterized as afferent (dendritic) and efferent (axonal), but I 
>also know that it is difficult to distinguish one from the other in a 
>practical sense.  Is it actually possible to take any arbitrary segment of 
>neural fiber and determine the directionality of signals flowing along that 
>fiber?  Are there static, physical features that establish a directionality, 
>or is it theoretically possible for impluses to flow in either direction along 
>a neural fiber?  Have experiments been done which measure the directionality 
>of fibers, or which test whether impulses do travel in only one direction?  Is 
>the distinction between axon and dendrite absolute?  Is it a convenient 
>simplification or a well-established neurobiological fact?
>References to texts or journals would be appreciated, as would URLs.  Please 
>post to this group and/or to rikki at
>Thank you,
>Rikki Hall

hi rikki,

there was an article published in the last 4-5  years in trends in
neurosciences.  as i recall, there are distinct structural differences between
the dentrites and the axon rendering the functions.

i looked around a bit and can't find my copy of the article - the title is
something like, 'what makes a neuron work,' or, 'how a neuron works.'

hope this helps,


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