why study neurology?

yan king yin (dont spam) y.k.y at lycos.com
Tue Jan 15 07:27:52 EST 2002

Im thinking that perhaps the understanding of synaptic plasticity can
*partly* answer the question of how is memory stored in the brain.
Synapses are the functional units in the nervous system. If you find
some transitors in an unknown machine, chances are that they store
some bits of information, otherwise why are they being there?

Im wondering if the metabotropic receptors have secondary
messengers that diffuse to nearby synapses and cross-talk with
their pathways, thus modifying those synapses. This might give rise
to some interesting learning rules. Thats just my guess and I have
to study it more thoroughly.

Im also looking for some books on neural network modeling that
is based closely on biological details, such as circuits and learning
rules. Do you know of any?

"mat" <mats_trash at hotmail.com>
> Though admittedly not an expert of any kind in this area (or any
> other!) I would be weary of saying that Synpatic Plasticity = Memory
> and even more weary of saying that CREB encodes memories.  You can
> only begin to talk about higher functions such as memory at a circuit
> or systems level.  Though of course CREB is important in memory as
> Kandel showed in Aplysia, in humans the situation is far more complex
> than just that.  I would not think that a synapse can be regarded as
> encoding a bit of information similar to a transistor in a CPU.  That
> is taking a far to simplistic view of neurones.
> Its the same kind of problem as when people say 'serotonin receptors
> are responsible for mood/depressive state' because SSRIs help in
> depression.  It is not the receptor proteins themsevles, but the part
> they play in the brain's systems that is important.
> By the way there are numerous other mechanisms of synaptic plasticity.
>  Some require protein synthesis e.g. CREB, while others don't.
> NMDA-receptor mediated potentiation is just one example.

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