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Do nuerons continuously fire?

Kwami Fabu whosenameidarenotspeak at yahoo.com
Tue Oct 12 01:32:22 EST 2004

On Fri, 08 Oct 2004 21:04:29 -0400, r norman <rsn_ at _comcast.net> :

>On 8 Oct 2004 16:58:18 -0700, "Jake  Gold" <jake.cog at gmail.com> wrote:
>>Hi guys, thanks for the responces, it clears that up :)
>>Norman, the issue I was pondering over in regards to the time gap is
>>short-short term memory. Meaning, how is the brain able to refer to
>>something that happened just one minute ago, with the same thinking
>>ability as long term memory, if there are no connections? I don't have
>>an answer, but I thought mabye an excited area of the brain could emit
>>signals continuasly through certain pathways which would enable the
>>person to have some sort of 'refrence' to those brain areas since there
>>are no hard-wired connections yet.
>There are a number of different mechanisms that can "remember" for
>relatively short periods.  These include reverberating circuits, a
>closed loop of neuronal connections that stimulate each other to
>maintain activity; "flip-flop" like circuits which maintain activity
>in one of several possible states.  Both of these types rely on
>traditional "fast" synapses and action potentials.  Then there are the
>"slow" synapses which produce relatively long-lived effects through
>second messenger systems.  These are quite capable of producing
>effects lasting several seconds or more in synaptic strength.  There
>are more complex cellular processes that can also be involved.  None
>of these mechanisms involve changing "hard-wired" connections like
>restructuring synaptic connections!.
>There is no shortage of possible neural mechanisms.  The real problem
>is to devise an experimental test to tell just which of the
>possibilities is really at work!  No doubt different mechanisms are at
>work at different locations for different types of "short term
That is the problem all right. Speaking from personal experience, namely a
traumatic brain injury sustained in an auto accident, I can attest to the complex
nature of brain function in general and memory in particular. Even now, 5 1/2 
years later, I am amazed at how easily I can recollect events prior to the injury,
and how incapable I am of recollecting events hours, minutes, even seconds ago.
The film "Memento" while, problematic in certain respects, is as accurate a 
representation I've seen of this problem, especially in highlighting the value of 
"making new memories". I haven't had to resort to tattooing messages on my person
as did the main character of the film, I do rely on multiple "adaptive strategies" such
as electronic organizer, tape recorder etc etc.

I could go on and on, but you get the point I hope.

"No matter where you go, there you are."

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