current voltage, freq of nerves

V112360 v112360 at aol.com
Fri Feb 7 01:12:19 EST 1997

     A neurons resting state is approximately minus 55 millivolts.  This
is based on the amount of ions (positive and negative) inside and outside
the neuron.  The resting state of neuron consists of a more negative
intracellular compartment.  When an action potential (depolerization)
occurs, the inside , or intracellular compartment, of the neuron becomes
more positively charged than it was in a resting state (above -55mv). 
Action potentials can occur as a result of being pinched, crushed, or
having chemicals applied to it.  After the action potential which is a
small fraction of a second a hyperpolerization (-80mv) takes place and the
nerve restabilizes to the resting state or spike threshold (-55mv).  This
is somewhat of a difficult thing to explain or understand because it
involves various ions (calcium, sodium, chloride, potassium) and a lot of
neurotransmitters, amino acid neurotransmitters, and peptide
     As far as your other questions, neurons are nerve cells and nerves
are the collection; when the term neuron is used it usually means a single
nerve cell, and the collection of neurons is basically termed nerves.  And
what do signals look like?  Well, it is nothing more than a biochemical
process.  When a neuron receives chemicals (ions and neurotransmitters)
from local neurons it is potentiated by the chemicals received which
results in a communication that is inhibitory and/or excitatory.  Such as
a neuron receiving gamma-aminobutyric acid result in an inhibitory
response by binding to chloride receptors (barbiturates and
benzodiazepines act this way by binding to chloride receptors).  Also,
excitatory ions and chemicals (glutamate, acetlycholine, ect....) are
released for communication responses.

Hope this helped a little, 
Chris (pre-med for psychiatry, neurology, or infectious disease)

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