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NeuroDynamix IIConcepts of Neurophysiology Illustrated by Computer Simulations$
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W. Otto Friesen and Jonathon Friesen

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195371833

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195371833.001.0001

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Properties of Neurons

Properties of Neurons

(p.87) I.5 Properties of Neurons
NeuroDynamix II

W. Otto Friesen

Jonathon A. Friesen

Oxford University Press

The neuron is an electrical machine whose inputs and outputs are chemical or electrical messages. This chapter describes macroscopic conductances arising from a large variety of sodium and potassium channels, and shows how these currents determine neuronal current-membrane potential (I-V) relationships. In addition, there is a discussion of current spread between various regions of neurons; for example, from synaptic input sites to the impulse initiating region. Terms introduced include length constant and time constant. Finally, the relationship between membrane properties and impulse frequency is explained. The conceptual framework is that of a three-compartment neuron with dendrite, soma, and axon compartments.

Keywords:   length constant, time constant, electrotonic spread, sodium conductance, potassium conductance, inward rectifier, h current, postinhibitory rebound, current-voltage curve

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