Electrical Properties of the Neuron

The electrical signaling within each neuron is a complex process that is not just of theoretical interest. Knowing the electrical basis of brain functioning offers an understanding of disorders such as epilepsy, so that physicians can help people avoid or control the seizures associated with it. There is growing evidence that implanting electrodes in the brain can offer relief for movement and mental disorders. However, the power to manipulate the brain’s electrical signals raises ethical questions.

Should society have the right to force someone to receive electrical stimulation in the brain? For example, would it be acceptable to implant an electrode in the brain of a person convicted of murder that prevents the person from being aggressive? For this week’s Discussion, you examine the electrical properties of individual neurons and the ethical implications of electrical brain stimulation.

As you are reading, consider the ethical implications of electrical brain stimulation. •

Post a description of the electrical properties of an individual neuron. Include the following in your description:

Excitatory and inhibitory post-synaptic potentials being received by the neuron

The role of the summation process in signaling o Ions and channels involved in generating and propagating the action potential

Ions and channels involved in triggering release of the neurotransmitter Then, describe the potential ethical implications of mandating the implantation an electrode in the brain of a person convicted of murder that prevents the person from being aggressive, instead of sending him or her to prison.

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