Consciousness

r norman rsn_ at _comcast.net
Fri Nov 21 08:23:26 EST 2003


On Fri, 21 Nov 2003 15:15:45 +1000, "John H." <johnh at faraway.com.au>
wrote:

>Would someone please explain to me this persistent tendency to describe the
>nervous system as having electricity? Electricity involves the movement of
>electrons, nervous transmission involves the movement of ions. I don't
>understand.
>

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". 



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