Re: Signal Processing (was BLUE GENE)

From: Russell Wallace (
Date: Wed Apr 12 2006 - 09:23:36 MDT

On 4/12/06, Martin Striz <> wrote:
> Why propagate a signal as a transiet voltage change rather than a
> direct electric (or electrochemical) current? Why use absurdly
> complicated intracellular signal transduction pathways? Why implement
> over 100 neurotransmitters when one will do just fine (modular
> specificity can be achieved through wiring or through postsynaptic
> receptor response)?

Hmm, don't know enough about the second to comment at all... on the third,
why would the alternatives be better than using extra neurotransmitters?

The first is an interesting question... neural signals appear inefficient in
terms of raw speed, but they are extraordinarily efficient in terms of
energy expended per bit sent, far more so than anything we can build today.
Is that inherent to the method of transmission? Or is there a way to be both
fast and energy efficient with direct electric current signals given
sufficiently advanced nanotechnology?

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Jul 17 2013 - 04:00:56 MDT