It seems reasonable to have spent a week talking about potentials since that is how the nervous system conducts inputs, outputs and all signals among neurons. An action potential is what induces the body and the brain to carry out a behavior, whatever it may be. Looking at this in a very simplistic way it seems to me that since potentials are how neurons communicate, that potentials ARE behavior.

However, seeing potentials in this light raises many questions. For example, how does the brain and the whole nervous system differentiate between potentials? How does the brain distinguish between an action potential caused by music and thunder? Furthermore, how are potentials translated into thoughts, emotions, etc. How can the simple change in membrane permeability, concentration gradient and electrical field of the axon (along with the synapse) be responsible for the communication between the neurons, which in turn is responsible for all the functions in the brain? I am awestruck at how the movement of ions across a membrane can yield the wonderful and complex functions of the brain.

I am also very intrigued at how the having a section of a membrane permeable to Na+ next to a section permeable to K+ leads to spontaneous actions potentials which makes neurons semi-autonomous. It is amazing that such a basic mechanism is what allows the heart to beat outside the body, and what allows me to create thoughts of my own.

The more we study the workings the brain and the nervous system, the more I am amazed at the evolution of man and "intelligence".

Pretty amazing indeed (though maybe inevitable?). And yes, new questions, some of which we've begun to answer (thunder vs lightening, a distinction in where action potentials occur in an organized network of boxes). And some answers hinted at: isn't so much a potential that is a thought but a pattern of potentials across lots of neurons (presumably). PG