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Medical Behavioral neuroscience, neural connections, synapses

  1. Jun 27, 2007 #1

    Math Is Hard

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    I was watching a film in my behavioral neuroscience class yesterday and it showed a connection between neurons forming. (not an animation, this was filmed using a microscope) You could actually see an axon and dendrite moving closer and closer together. Then when they got close enough they started doing this handshake-like pumping motion. It was fascinating to watch.

    Anyway, my question is: what draws an axon and dendrite toward each other? Is it charge?
     
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  3. Jun 27, 2007 #2

    nrqed

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    The only force playing a significant role in that context is the electric force, yes. It all boils down to opposite charges attracting and like charges repelling.
     
  4. Jun 28, 2007 #3

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    Thanks. :smile:
    Another question: when this attraction occurs, is the pre-sypnaptic neuron typically more positive than the post-synaptic one, or vice versa? Or does it vary? (I'm thinking it's the first condition I mentioned, but not 100% sure).
     
  5. Jun 29, 2007 #4

    Chronos

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    Perhaps a forcible interchange, perhaps not. A molecular conspiracy? There is so much crap going on down there, the possibilities are endless.
     
  6. Jun 29, 2007 #5

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    Maybe. You'll have to explain this to me in terms of Tinkertoy connections.

    That reminds me, I owe you a story of how my neural nets failed me in a court of law, but perhaps shortened my jury duty imprisonment.:smile:
     
  7. Jun 29, 2007 #6
    Remember, we're not even considering behaviour at the atomic level here, so understanding the transmission and impulse of neural information and the interaction between transmitters and axon terminals and dendrites and axons is already a lot easier and more convenient, given the nanotechnology and brain research technology we're aided with. So it's a bit dismissive to say that the "possibilities are endless."

    The attraction between dendrites and other structures in a neural pathway is of course an electrostatic attraction. Just out of curiosity, what were you watching?
     
  8. Jun 30, 2007 #7

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