Chapter 27

Modeling a Single Neuron

Pascal Wallisch

Neurons communicate with each other by transmitting and receiving electrochemical signals called action potentials. These action potentials are transient fluctuations in the cell’s membrane potential, which propagate down a cell’s axon without attenuation. In the central nervous system, action potentials have a duration on the order of milliseconds (1–2 msec usually) and can often be divided into three phases. The first phase of the action potential is a rapid depolarization of the membrane called the rising phase or upstroke of the action potential. This is followed by a repolarization of the membrane called the falling phase or downstroke of the action potential. The last phase follows a hyperpolarization ...

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