>Subject: Re: Resting "leak" ion channels
>From: kckpaulc at aol.comABCXYZ (ken collins)
>Date: Fri, 29 October 1999 09:58 PM EDT
>Message-id: <19991029215844.15652.00000155 at ng-ct1.aol.com>
>this 'leakage' question is a very-complicated one, in my view, because there
>exist many factors that 'feed-back' into it.
>>for instance, a neuron's rate of firing 'conditions' its surrounding ionic
>reality, which, via glial functionality, which includes glial 'contractile
>responses' (see J. J. Chang and W. Hild, J. Cellular and Comparative Phys.,
>V53, p139; discussion in AoK, Ap5 (footnote 70)), which, in turn, alter the
>physical Geometry (neural topology) in which the glia react, constitutes
>highly-significant functionality that 'supercedes' the functionality of
>individual channels because it determines the relative 'reactivity'... the
>'potency'... of channels' information-carrying capacities.
>>if, for instance, the glial 'contractile responses' result in a neuron's
>arborization Geometry being altered, the neuron's information-processing
>functionality is, simultaneously, altered, regardless of what any of its ion
>channels are, in fact, doing.
don't misinterpret this... the ion channel's still participating in the neural
activation 'state'... its just that it's functionality... its participation
with respect to information-content... has been altered via the neuralglia's
ionic-concentration-dependent microscopic configuration dynamics, which
reconfigures the network, so the contributions of individual ion channels are
with respect to necessarily-different information content.
this is =not= to say that the ion channels are 'not important'. it's just to
say that the functionality of the ion channels has been 'refocussed', and
although they'll still function in the same way, their contributions to the net
information-processing dynamics will be different in the neuralglia
microscopically-reconfigured network 'state'.
it's something a bit like the way that letters of the alphabet can be
mixed-and-matched to form different words, having different connotations, while
remaining, themselves, just the letters of the alphabet.
i've no lab, so i can't check it out, but strongly expect that, when the lab
experiments are accomplished, it will be found that even synaptic efficacies
are altered (tuned) by ionic-concentration-mediated neuralglia contractile
these microscopic network configuration dynamics that are briefly discussed in
AoK, constitute stuff having immense information-processing power that allow
all the subtle variations of an established network architecture to be
explored, tested, refined, etc., in an extraordinarily-flexible way, and are
fundamental to the focussing of 'consciousness'... there's not enough
information-processing power in just the network to enable the subtlties of the
information-content of consciousness. these neuralglia dynamics extend the
stuff of the neural architecture immensely.
the experiments verifying the neuralglia role, or dynamics exactly-equivalent
to it, have already been done. i discussed them in this NG in the
again, i did not say that the ion channels' functionality is, somehow,
'insignificant'. i just said that its contributions to information-processing
are dependent upon the glial stuff... the ion channels' functionality, a
neuron's impulse rate, etc., can be exactly the same, yet the
information-content of the network can be hugely different because of the
microscopic configuration dynamics of the glia.
K. P. Collins