Re: Spikes (was Human intelligence is obviously absurd)

From: Phil Goetz (
Date: Tue Feb 01 2005 - 19:57:30 MST

--- Martin Striz <> wrote:

> if you watch a trace of the voltage potential across
> the membrane in the
> dendrites, it drops off more slowly than in other
> neurons, so that a rapid
> succession of spikes is additive, and it takes
> several spikes (the exact number
> varies) for activation. I'm not sure what the
> reason for this is, whether it's
> impossible to do with the classic neuron model, or
> just needless
> complexification. I can propose a mechanism for why
> it exist: some neurons
> act as signal-unifying centers, so that the brain
> deems a particular set of
> signals worthy of a response only when a sufficient
> number of signals from
> disparate areas comes in.

It's called integration, and that's literally what
it is. It turns out you can perform operations
that, mathematically, require integration -- such
as computing velocity from acceleration -- using
such integrating neurons. So, for example,
hairs in the ear's canals that measure rotational
acceleration are integrated in order to measure
rotational velocity, IIRC.

I don't know what you mean by "other neurons",
since my understanding is that all neurons work this

- Phil G.

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