Q_Goest said:Thanks for the clarification. I was always under the assumption that all neurons have some threshold, below which they don't 'fire' and above which they do. Is that a correct way of percieving a neuron's function? How could that be better explained?
Yes, that is quite true. Neurons normally have a resting potential, such that the interior of the neuron is negatively charged with respect to the exterior. A neuron's potential can be be made either more or less negative by inputs it receives from other neurons at its dendrites. If the inputs a neuron receives raise its potential above a certain threshold, then the action potential (process of neural firing) is automatically triggered. (Actually, neurons normally fire spontaneously at some rate; inputs from other neurons can make a given neuron fire more or less rapidly, though.) Here are some good links that go into further detail:
However, the threshold of a neuron's action potential is just about the mechanics of individual neurons. This threshold is not to be confused with e.g. some notion of a threshold that might obtain between neural events that find expression in consciousness and those that don't. All neurons function in the same basic manner with voltage thresholds and action potentials and the like, but of course, not all neurons directly contribute to conscious experience.