Binary behaviour of some dendrites

Andrew Gyles syzygium at alphalink.com.au
Sun Sep 23 21:06:03 EST 2001

In my immediately preceding post I have quoted the wrong date for the
article in "Science": it is the 21 September 2001 issue. Sorry.

Andrew Gyles

"Andrew Gyles" <syzygium at alphalink.com.au> wrote in message
news:9om3lc$e05sl$1 at ID-94640.news.dfncis.de...
> In December 2000 there was some discussion in this newsgroup of my
> hypothesis that mitochondria might act as flip-flop memory elements in
> neurons.
> One counter-argument ran as follows: "Why should neurons need a flip-flop
> memory element? There's no evidence they're digital".
> Well, perhaps there is some evidence now. In the 21 December 2000 issue of
> "Science" Dong-Sheng Wei et al report binary behaviour of some terminal
> apical dendrites of pyramidal neurons, which they characterised as
> "all-or-none responses that were subthreshold for somatic action
> potentials".
> They remarked that "Compartmentalized and binary behavior of
> parallel-connected terminal dendrites can greatly expand the computational
> power of a single neuron".
> Of course I am aware that the paper in "Science" does not support my
> hypothesis about a possible role of mitochondria, which is speculative.
> However, it does (in my inexpert opinion) show that the behaviour of some
> dendrites is "digital".
> Andrew Gyles

More information about the Neur-sci mailing list

Send comments to us at biosci-help [At] net.bio.net