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Old 02-18-2011, 06:50 PM
 
Location: Texas
5,070 posts, read 8,780,294 times
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Neurons are complicated, but the basic functional concept is that synapses transmit electrical signals to the dendrites and cell body (input), and axons carry signals away (output). In one of many surprise findings, Northwestern University scientists have discovered that axons can operate in reverse: they can send signals to the cell body, too.

It also turns out axons can talk to each other. Before sending signals in reverse, axons can perform their own neural computations without any involvement from the cell body or dendrites. This is contrary to typical neuronal communication where an axon of one neuron is in contact with another neuron's dendrite or cell body, not its axon. And, unlike the computations performed in dendrites, the computations occurring in axons are thousands of times slower, potentially creating a means for neurons to compute fast things in dendrites and slow things in axons.
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Old 02-18-2011, 08:23 PM
 
419 posts, read 736,141 times
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It will be interesting to see how this new discovery plays out in the years to come. I feel for those upcoming college students who'll have to buy brand new textbooks when the info is updated. More ramen noodle meals for them.
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Old 02-18-2011, 08:58 PM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,346 posts, read 80,898,887 times
Reputation: 17413
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian.Pearson View Post
Neurons are complicated, but the basic functional concept is that synapses transmit electrical signals to the dendrites and cell body (input), and axons carry signals away (output). In one of many surprise findings, Northwestern University scientists have discovered that axons can operate in reverse: they can send signals to the cell body, too.

It also turns out axons can talk to each other. Before sending signals in reverse, axons can perform their own neural computations without any involvement from the cell body or dendrites. This is contrary to typical neuronal communication where an axon of one neuron is in contact with another neuron's dendrite or cell body, not its axon. And, unlike the computations performed in dendrites, the computations occurring in axons are thousands of times slower, potentially creating a means for neurons to compute fast things in dendrites and slow things in axons.

I asked my pastor about this and he thinks the scientists at Northwestern couldn't possibly know these types of things because they are impossible to know.
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Old 02-18-2011, 09:27 PM
 
Location: Beaverland, OR
588 posts, read 2,497,281 times
Reputation: 457
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles View Post
I asked my pastor about this and he thinks the scientists at Northwestern couldn't possibly know these types of things because they are impossible to know.
Why are they impossible to know? Sounds like a pretty typical university-level scientific experiment to me. And what makes your pastor a credible commentator on the subject?
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Old 02-18-2011, 09:31 PM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,346 posts, read 80,898,887 times
Reputation: 17413
Quote:
Originally Posted by juggler View Post
Why are they impossible to know? Sounds like a pretty typical university-level scientific experiment to me. And what makes your pastor a credible commentator on the subject?
He's a pastor, obviously he understands the way things really are. You actually believe those "scientists"?
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