Jul 23, 2021
This month's episode features Mark Humphries, author of "The Spike: An Epic Journey Through the Brain in 2.1 Seconds." We explore how the brain uses electrical signaling in surprising ways, beginning with a look at how an action potential (aka. "the spike") is produced. Then we consider what Humphries calls "the dark neurons," which are neurons that rarely generate spikes. We explore their role and also how it relates to the brain's spontaneous activity. One of the more surprising recent discoveries in neuroscience is that most of the brain's activity does not appear to be caused by external stimuli. It is not a passive receiver of information and this has profound implications for our understanding of things like how the brain generates conscious experience.
This episode is for listeners of all backgrounds.
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