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Sun Apr 10 20:51:24 EST 2005

> People harp on me for holding that ion currents don't act like electrical
> currents, for believing that whereas all electricity is currrent, not all
> current is electricity.

I haven't seen anyone "harping", but never mind.  I have a simple request:
document your claims.  For my money (all spent on my education :-), you're
just wrong.  Current is the movement of charge.  Current *is* electricity.
Until you can do something other than assert otherwise, I'll assume that
you don't understand the electrical properties of neurons.  Of course,
I could be wrong, but you have yet to provide any evidence for that.

> I try to make it clear with an analogy to water being composed of ions,
> to water's flow not involving the equations of electrical circuitry
> even if its currents involve the movement of charge.

Your "analogy" does not "make it clear" because your "analogy" is
totally spurious, even ridiculously so.  Gregory, water's flow does
NOT involve the NET movement of charge.  You MUST have known this.
Ionic currents across neuronal membranes result from net movement
of charge, and decades of experiments have recorded, dissected,
described and modelled them.

> The essay "Action Potentials - " is the first in a trilogy of essays.

I read it, and I was disappointed.  It included, among other annoying
things, bizarre ad hominem swipes at neurology.  Others have addressed
weaknesses in the long-winded mathematical dissection of a Koester's
chapters in Kandel et al.  So, I'll just end with a question:
what was your point?  Are you saying that the neuronal membrane
is not capacitive?  Are you saying that saltatory conduction
doesn't exist?  Come out with it, so we can refer you to a few
decades-old basic experiments and you can learn about the
electrical properties of neurons.

Steve Matheson   Program in Neuroscience   University of Arizona
sfm at neurobio.arizona.edu

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