By George Somjen (auth.), George Somjen (eds.)
Great advances were made within the sector of sensory body structure over the last few a long time, and those advancements appear to be soliciting for a finished assessment that's plausible in measurement and cohesive in content material. This quantity has been written with that objective in brain. within the first position i want to thank Mr. R. van Frank of Appleton-Century-Crofts for asking me to do the task, and my spouse for persuading me to do it, for writing it was once an stress-free job. a lot of the dialogue of real info set to print right here advanced in question-and-answer periods in classes given to scholars in body structure, psychology, and drugs, and to physicians education in neurology, neurosur gery, and psychiatry. along with my scholars, I had in brain whereas getting ready this article my expert colleagues laboring on their lecture notes below circum stances might be now not not like my very own. the fabric is split in components. the 1st offers with the style of illustration of sensory info in peripheral nerves: the so-called first order code. the second one half the textual content bargains with the dealing with of experience information through the crucial anxious process. One explanation for dividing the cloth during this method is that a few of the beneficial properties of the first-order code are universal to all sensory modalities. The depth, where, the rhythm, the "quality" of stimuli are encoded via principles that are appropriate, albeit with acceptable changes, to all senses. in addition, those principles of coding are this day very well understood.
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Extra resources for Sensory Coding in the mammalian nervous system
At this point the reader might ask whether there is any obvious advantage to this dual mode of handling information. There is no doubt that the pulse code of nerve fibers is a particularly secure and precise method of transmitting signals. Secure, because the 'safety factor of propagation' is high. The current drawn by an action potential is several times the minimum required for conduction to 30 Introduction occur. It is precise because the impulses are many times greater than the 'noise' of the system.
There is a gap of no more than 500 A (= 50 nm; or a range of 10 to 50 nm) between the membranes on the two sides of a synapse. The axon terminal is called the presynaptic ending, the neuron receiving information from that ending is designated as postsynaptic, and the portion of its membrane directly opposite the presynaptic terminal is the subsynaptic membrane. A nerve impulse arriving at the presynaptic ending causes the release of a chemical, the transmitter substance. After diffusing across the narrow intercellular cleft, the transmitter substance acts upon the sub synaptic membrane, causing its permeability to ions to be altered.
We speak ofaxo-dendritic, axo-somatic, and axo-axonal synapses. Neurons are surrounded by satellite cells. In the central nervous system these are called glia, in peripheral nerves Schwann cells. In electron micrographs the surface, or plasma membrane, of a neuron is always found side by side to the membrane of such a satellite cell, except at synapses where neuron lies beside neuron and possibly also at the receptor ending of some nerve fibers, which may be bare of a satellite envelope. The precise nature of this quasi-symbiotic existence of neuron and satellite cell is not entirely understood.
Sensory Coding in the mammalian nervous system by George Somjen (auth.), George Somjen (eds.)