Chapter summary

This first chapter has reviewed the anatomy and functions of various different types of neurons. Next, the electrical properties of and models for dendrites having passive membrane were examined. The generation of the nerve action potential was next described, and the electrical properties of unmyelinated and myelinated nerve axons were shown.

The different kinds of synaptic connections between neurons were described, as well as the postsynaptic potential changes resulting from chemical synapse action. Inhibitory synaptic action can be the result of summing hyperpolarizing ipsps or the clamping of membrane potential to a Nernst potential below the postsynaptic firing threshold voltage.

Finally, the HH model for action potential generation was treated in detail, including the properties of the HH model as a current-to-frequency converter. The basis for the detailed electrical modeling all types of neurons was shown to be the distributed-parameter RC transmission line with various types of specific ionic, voltage-dependent shunting conductances in parallel with the transmenbrane capacitance. A complete model can be made by connecting many of the lumped-parameter circuits of various types together to emulate synapses, dendrites, the soma, and axons.

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