basic question

Horace Veery veery at utkux1.utcc.utk.edu
Sat Sep 28 20:13:05 EST 1996


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 zool46.bio.utk.edu

Thank you,

Rikki Hall







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