Introduction to Neurobiology - Lecture Notes 02 - Electrical Signaling

Introduction to Neurobiology - Lecture Notes 02 - Electrical Signaling

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BioNB222 Spring 2008 Cornell University Joseph Fetcho 1 Lecture 2. Electrical Signaling in the Nervous System Lecture Outline 1. Introduction: much of the function of the nervous system depends upon electrical signaling. A. From the last lecture we know that the unit of the nervous system is the neuron and there are lots of them, about 10-100 billion, in a human brain. B. The neurons are wired into complex circuits with connections or synapses between them - about 1000 per cell, so about 10-100 trillion connections in the brain. Proper functioning depends on rapid, reliable communication among these cells and this is accomplished by electrical and chemical means. C. Importance of electrical function is demonstrated by a few examples– Animals target electrical function to kill other animals in defense or for food. Humans target electrical function to kill other humans. Many diseases are a consequence of defects in electrical function. The focus of the next 6 lectures is to understand the electrical properties of nerve cells, which form the foundation for building the circuits that underlie our ability to see, smell, hear, think, walk, talk, feel and remember. 2. Electrical recordings from nerve cells reveal resting membrane
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This note was uploaded on 02/13/2008 for the course BIO 222 taught by Professor Hopkins during the Spring '08 term at Cornell University (Engineering School).

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Introduction to Neurobiology - Lecture Notes 02 - Electrical Signaling

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