Kako živčna celica obdeluje informacije? / How does the nerve cell process information?

author: Gregor Zupančič, Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana
published: Nov. 22, 2010,   recorded: October 2010,   views: 395
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Delovanje živčnih celic ali nevronov je eno najbolj živahnih področij raziskav v nevrobiologiji, nevrofiziologiji in celični biofiziki. Glavni razlog za vse to zanimanje je, dejstvo, da so nevroni celice, na katerih temelji delovanje človeških možganov, in razumevanje njihovega delovanja, naj bi omogočilo ali vsaj olajšalo tudi razumevanje delovanja živčnih sistemov različnih živalskih skupin in človeka. Z razvojem tako eksperimentalne tehnologije kot različnih načinov analize in modeliranja živčnih celic se je naše razumevanje delovanja živčnih celic zelo izboljšalo, pri čemer je bil največji napredek dosežen prav v zadnjih dveh desetletjih. Biofizikalni opisi živčnih celic so napredovali od preprostih modelov, kakršen je matematični model akcijskega potenciala Hodgkina in Huxleya iz petdesetih let 20. stoletja, do današnjih zapletenih simulacij piramidalnih nevronov hipokampusa in skorje velikih možganov. Slednji vsebujejo izjemno dolge sezname spremenljivk, opise morfologije živčnih celic, podrobne regionalne specifičnosti različnih delov nevronov in opise različnih procesov, ki v potekajo celicah. Znanje, ki je vključeno v te modele, je bilo pridobljeno v dolgi vrsti imunocitokemičnih, celično- fizioloških in nevrofizioloških poskusov. Rezultati vsega tega dela so močno spremenili pogled na same »procesorske « lastnosti nevronov. Ugotovili smo, da je sama živčna celica sposobna precej večjega deleža obdelave informacije, kot smo mislili nekoč. Izkazalo se je, da obstaja dodaten celični nivo obdelave informacije poleg nivojev različno obsežnih omrežij živčnih celic. Tako se sedaj kaže delovanje celotnega živčnega sistema kot še bolj kompleksno, kot smo menili nekoč. V predavanju bo prikazan majhen del vsega tega napredka, predvsem način, kako danes razumemo medsebojne interakcije aktivnih in pasivnih lastnosti celic pri obdelavi informacije v obliki električnih signalov.


The functioning of neurons is one of the liveliest areas of research in neurobiology, neurophysiology and cell biophysics. The main reason for all this interest is the fact that neurons are cells on which the brain function is based and therefore understanding their function is supposed to allow or at least facilitate the understanding of the functioning of nerve systems of various animal groups as well as humans. The advances in experimental technology as well as in various ways of analysing and modelling nerve cells have greatly improved our understanding of their function, whereby the greatest advances were made in the past two decades. The biophysical descriptions of nerve cells have come a long way from a simple model of an action potential by Hodgkin and Huxley from the fifties of the past century. Nowadays such models can be complex simulations of the pyramidal neurons from the hippocampus and the cortex. Such models incorporate long lists of variables, the descriptions of morphologies of nerve cells, detailed regional specificities of various neurons and the descriptions of the processes that take part in these cells. The knowledge incorporated in these models was gained in a long line of immunocytochemical, cell physiological and neurophysiological experiments. The results of this work have greately changed the view of the “processing properies” of neurons. We found that the nerve cell alone is capable of a far greater share in processing information than was previously believed. It turned out that an additional cellular layer of information processing exists in addition to networks of nerve cells. This makes the functioning of the entire nervous system even more complex than it was previously believed. The lecture will show a small part of this progress, mainly in the ways we now understand mutual interactions of passive and active properties of cells in processing information.

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