kenneth p Collins kpaulc at
Wed Dec 17 06:12:53 EST 2003

"Joe Legris" <jalegris at> wrote in message
news:3FBE24C5.6050602 at
> r norman wrote:
> > The orginal post, snipped away for being non-sensical, did refer to
> > the nervous system as supplying "electricity" to the body.  However
> > silly that notion was, it is still true that electricity involves far
> > more than the movement of electrons -- that is how electric current is
> > manifested in metallic conductors. Bioelectricity was known since
> > Galvani's time.
> >
> > Electrical forces are at work between any two charged bodies. The
> > energetics of ions moving across a membrane depend on their charge and
> > the electrical potential, the voltage, as much as they do on
> > concentrations and diffusion.  The longitudinal flow of ions down
> > axons is almost entirely a response to electrical forces.
> >
> > Yes, the real, physical, measurable electric currents that flow during
> > nerve activity are "electricity".
> Longitudinal flow of ions?? There are fast and slow tranport systems for
> moving proteins, vesicles, and other chemicals down (and up) the axon,
> but if you are talking about action potentials, the net movement of ions
> is perpendicular to the axon, not along it. The action potential is the
> only thing that "flows" along the axon in that sense, and it is a wave
> of depolarization and associated electrical fields, not an ionic
> current. If there was a longitudinal flow of ions down the axon there
> would have to be a mechanism for supplying them at one end and for
> getting rid of them at the other. No such mechanism exists to my
> --
> Joe Legris

There's a robust 3-D ionic flow within brains in which the efficacy of
neuron<->glia interaction derives.

It's just not like the flow of energy within, say, an integrated circuit.
It's 3-D-'turbulent', yet, nevertheless, rigorously-ordered, and it's
important because everything else that occurs within nervous systems derives
in it - when it ceases, everything else within nervous systems ceases.

k. p. collins

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