This week, our topic was how information from neuron to neuron is transmitted. As a pre-assignment, we needed to read chapters 3,4,5 and our knowledge was tested with a quiz.
In my opinion, the topic was quite basic but important to know. The ability of a neuron to create action potential and cooperation between other cells makes this structure of cells quite unique. The interesting and related to my studies was that how many different medicines affect the synaptic transmission between cells. Different drugs can inhibit or excite the synaptic transmission which could lead to different responses. The ability of a drug to surpass the blood-brain barrier into synaptic clef could be quite hard and could cause a lot side effects.
How the action potential is created and how neurons are connected was quite new for me. I am fascinated by the likeness to computers 1 and 0 the neurons have. However, neurons are much more dynamic and this threshold that is needed for them to be activated is much different than computers. They can be on the edge of spiking and connect in more complex ways. As opposed to a computer that is always 1 or 0 – there is no range until a threshold is reached.
Also, I learned a lot about chemical synapses – in essence that yes neurotransmitters affect neurons but in the end they only affect the probability that a certain neuron will have a action potential or not (inhibitory and excitatory neurotransmitters). They are chemical but affect the same base electric communication that neurons uses.
Finally the network of the brain is amazing. I wonder how hard it is to create new or remove old synapses by changing thought and life patterns?