1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Electromanetic radiation induce electrical current in neuron and create dream

  1. Jul 13, 2012 #1
    I am thinking if electromagnetic radiation can induce an electrical current in the neuron similar to the way antenna works. Since the antenna receive radio wave, which is a type of electromagnetic radiation to generate electricity. Can the neuron also receive electromagnetic radiation and induce an electrical current in a similar way.

    This explains electromagnetic radiation:

    This is an animation on the nerve impulse:

    How electromagnetic radiation generates electricity:

    My questions is what type of electromagnetic radiation would be projected onto the neuron to induce a current flow and how do you receive this signal back containing the information about the electrical current in the neuron. Like how do you examine the current flow within a person's head. Lastly, how do you block this type of electromagnetic radiation?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 13, 2012 #2

    Simon Bridge

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    The effect of EM on the brain is a subject of ongoing research ... inducing dreams and improving dream recall are among the effects reported.

    On the effect of weak fields on neurons (pertaining to your question)
    ... afaik there is nothing as refined as identifying an ideal wavelength to trigger different effects or to examine the detailed current flow in the brain. Probably the closest would be stuff like this:
    http://www.nmr.mgh.harvard.edu/meg/pdfs/Xiong et al 2003.pdf
  4. Jul 13, 2012 #3


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    fredreload, this may be the technique you are referring to:

    "Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a noninvasive method to cause depolarization or hyperpolarization in the neurons of the brain. TMS uses electromagnetic induction to induce weak electric currents using a rapidly changing magnetic field; this can cause activity in specific or general parts of the brain with minimal discomfort, allowing the functioning and interconnections of the brain to be studied. A variant of TMS, repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), has been tested as a treatment tool for various neurological and psychiatric disorders including migraines, strokes, Parkinson's disease, dystonia, tinnitus, depression and auditory hallucinations."

Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook