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Modelling neural transdution Dean, Douglas Philip


Neural transduction is the process by which neurons convert externally applied electrical energy into stable, propagating voltage pulses. Given some stimulus waveform with particular parameters such as duration, phase delay, etc., there is a minimum stimulus amplitude required in order for transduction of the waveform to result in an active neural response. The minimum amplitude for excitation, the threshold amplitude, is a strong function of many variables including stimulus waveshape, frequency and duration. This study reveals some details of the threshold characteristics of the Frankenhaeuser-Huxley (FH) model of myelinated nerve. These threshold transduction characteristics are studied with the aid of phase-space analysis, and are used to produce a model of neural excitation which is clinically applicable to human nerve. The full FH system of equations is used to predict threshold behaviour for in-vivo human nerve, and the predictions are shown to be in good agreement with clinically obtained threshold data. The study concludes by examining some of the additions to the FH model which would be necessary to model the accumulation of extra-nodal potassium ions.

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