A Nerve Cell's Pleasure and Pain

Matt Hodgkinson matt at hodgkinson9.freeserve.co.uk
Tue Aug 29 17:35:42 EST 2000


'Pleasure' and 'Pain' are subjective feelings (is qualia the right word??)
experienced by the conscious mind.  They are not something you can ascribe
to individual neurons, even pain receptors.  Don't muddle your thoughts with
pointless analogies, if you want to talk about what causes neurons to fire,
that is fine.  Simply use the terminology already in use i.e. excitatory
inputs, inhibitory inputs, spiking, action potentials, bursters, pacemakers,
pre- + post-synaptic responses, Long Term Potentiation, LT Depression etc
etc.

Matt

"Phoenix" <phoenix42 at uswest.net> wrote in message
news:svop5.1128$Ph4.497357 at news.uswest.net...
>
> Greetings :)
>
> Let me start by saying that I'm a layman, and don't really know a whole
lot
> about this subject. An idea came to me and I thought I'd present it.
>
> I just read a posting in this same newsgroup that seems to have relevance
> with this conversation ...... (I make no claims that this is proven
> information or that it's original author does so. It simply presents an
> interesting idea.)
>
> <SNIP from RE: neurotransmitter storage (all or one?)>
> > Until relatively recently it was thought that a neuron only released one
> >type of neurotransmitter. This is now known to be untrue. But no neuron,
> >AFAIK, produces all the neurotransmitters (there are more than 100).
> >Most are restricted to only a small few at best. Indeed, most of the 100
> >billion or so neurons are primarily either glutamatergic or GABAergic,
> >the most common (mainly) excitatory and (mainly) inhibitory NTs
> >respectively.
> <SNIP>
>
> So when Bill is presenting:
>
> <SNIP>
> > 1. You have defined "neural pleasure" as firing, and "neural pain" as
> >    ceasing to fire.
> >
> > 2. Therefore if a neuron takes an action (fires), and this is followed
> >    by continued firing (pleasure), then in a similar situation the
> >    neuron will again tend to fire (repeat the action).
> >
> > 3. Conversely, if a neuron takes an action (fires), and this is
> >    followed by the neuron ceasing to fire (pain), then in a similar
> >    situation the neuron will tend not to fire as much (i.e., not to
> >    repeat the action).
> <SNIP>
>
> Perhaps ....
>
> 1. "neural pleasure" and "neural pain" are defined as which, out of a
> neuron's range of responses, is considered as such.
>
> Perhaps 2 of 3 possible neurotransmitters a neuron is capable of releasing
> is pleasure, and the remaining (or not firing at all) is pain?
>
> 2. Perhaps if a neuron receives stimulus that calls for a pleasure
response,
> the neuron responds by releasing a specific neurotransmitter depending on
> intensity/frequency of the stimulus? High intensity/frequency release
Option
> A Neurotransmitter, low intensity/frequency release Option B
> Neurotransmitter.
>
> 3. Perhaps if the stimulus is too intense, or too high a frequency,
> therefore threatening damage, it releases Option C Neurotransmitter. Thus
> alerting the brain of the danger.
>
> 4. The stimulus doesn't call for a response (pain by rejection of action)
> and the neuron ends up not doing anything?
>
> --
> ________.__                         .__
> \____   \  |__   ____   ____   ____ |__|__  ___
>  |   ___/  |  \ /  _ \_/ __ \ /    \|  \  \/  /
>  |  |   |   Y  (  <_> )  ___/|   |  \  |>    <
>  |__|   |___|  /\____/ \____\|___|  /__/__/\_ \
>              \/    /  |  |\_____  \/         \/
>                   /   |  |_/  ____/
>                  /    ^   /       \
>                  \____   |\_______ \
>                       |__|        \/
>
>







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