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Human Memory Modeled with Standard Analog and Digital Circuits: Inspiration for Man-made Computers by John Robert Burger

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CHAPTER 3

NEURAL PULSES AND NEURAL MEMORY

INTRODUCTION

In this chapter we provide a physical model for a single pulse of an action potential, the derivation of which is considered essential for students in artificial intelligence and neuroscience. Action potentials are voltage pulses that are generated by triggering the sensitive areas of a membrane, which is possible in dendrites, soma, and axon. The sensitive regions of a ferroelectric membrane are triggered by any event that reduces the electric field through the membrane. Sensitive particles within the membrane are then able to relax, effectively permitting a transfer of negative charge from the inside surface of the membrane, equivalent to leaving a positive charge inside. Transfers of charge are initiated by random ions hitting the membrane and capturing stray electrons, assumed to tunnel deeply into the membrane.

Positive voltage accumulates up to about + 40 mV. This causes a reversed electric field within the ferroelectric membrane that forces molecules within a sensitive membrane to reverse their orientation. This reversal, in turn, slows dramatically the accumulation of positive charge inside the neuron. In fact, it encourages a transfer of negative charge back into the neuron because of internal potassium ions that continue to be effective for charge transfer. These charges are integrated by the capacitance on the inside surface of the membrane, so internal positive voltage begins to drop.

Internal voltage moves through ...

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