Published Online: 15 AUG 2009
Copyright © 2003 by Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA. All rights reserved.
Encyclopedia of Applied Physics
How to Cite
Kolomytkin, O. V. and Marino, A. A. 2009. Neurobiophysics. Encyclopedia of Applied Physics. .
- Published Online: 15 AUG 2009
Attempts to understand the individual and collective properties of neurons are made from numerous scientific perspectives. We describe the results of traditional approaches that emphasize the importance of physical laws and the elucidation of mechanisms, and discuss recent developments regarding the properties of interacting neuronal systems. The present view of the structure of ion channels is summarized, followed by an explanation of their role in the generation and propagation of action potentials. Important dynamical processes that occur in systems of neurons are treated, including processes that occur in sensory systems, neural networks, and in the volume transmission of electrical and chemical systems in the central nervous system. Uses of nonlinear analysis to characterize brain electrical activity are delineated, and new experimental methods for studying memory and learning are outlined. Further insights into how the nervous system mediates behavior seems likely to emerge from an approach that integrates well-established reductionistic strategies with reliance on abstract concepts and the use of nonlinear methods.