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Saba Ashraf's picture

Neurons/detection

            An interesting topic that we talked about during class dealt with proteins and that one cannot detect anything without having proteins that produce the permeability changes. Basically, we detect certain things in the world by seeing, hearing, smelling, or touching because we have proteins that produce the appropriate permeability changes. This brings up a point that humans cannot detect everything in the world because we do not have the necessary proteins and permeability changes.   It would be very interesting to learn more about some of the things the nervous system can’t detect because of the lack of proteins that change permeability.  There can be so much going on and taking place in a room that we would be never know about.  For example, it’s amusing to think about how a radio is capable of detecting the noises in the electromagnetic field, yet humans are completely unaware of them.   It is also quite remarkable that the nervous system is able to respond and deal with the enormous amount of information that it is able to detect. It is important to note that what a human is aware of is not the same as the information the nervous system is getting.  Also, the nervous system isn’t even able to detect everything that is going on around us, yet it is still being bombarded with bundles of information.   

Another interesting idea I was not that aware of was the fact that signals didn’t leave a cable. For some reason, I had always imagined one signal moving through various connected cables; however, signals end in the cables and do not exit it. This lead to the idea that our neurons were extremely advanced and somewhat like a computer. Despite getting about 1,000 signals, neurons are still able to make their own signals based on the numerous signals they receive.   

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