Week 2. Action Potential

The Action Potential

Studying the physiological, chemical and electrical mechanisms that make the action potential possible is very interesting as it allows me to understand in greater depth how it impacts the functioning of many body systems, as well as the principle of many imaging methods that detect and then interpret the electrical and magnetic activity that is initially generated with the action potential.

The detailed description of how the sodium, potassium and other ion channels work is also fascinating. It is almost incredible to be able to describe mechanically how a molecule changes its shape to allow or not the passage of ions through it. I believe that the use of high technology for the simulation and observation of this phenomenon could greatly benefit learning, but also research, since it would accelerate the process of understanding a phenomenon so unique and far from our human scale.

Synaptic Transmission

There are two types of synapses, electrical and chemical. While electrical synapses are very fast and simple, chemical synapses require a slightly more complicated processes and are therefore slower. One of the mechanisms, that I find the most interesting, is how a neuron can self-regulate its activity through autoreceptors; that is, when the neuron receives the neurotransmitters it releases.

Finally, the integration of the excitatory and inhibitory postsynaptic potentials is one of the most important tasks of the neuron, since it is precisely through this integration process that the neuron “makes decisions”. The number of operations carried out by a neuron is so extensive that until now there is no method that allows us to trace in detail how this process is carried out, if we could understand in greater depth the circumstances that favor a certain frequency and magnitude of postsynaptic action potentials, it would be possible to design some tools able to simulate neuronal functioning.

Posted by Gloria Mendoza Franco

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *