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NEURON: REST POTENTIAL - some questions I am struggling with....

Rest potential: appr. 70 mV, more CL ions inside, therefore negative load inside, potential across membrane, fine.

But why is it called 'rest potential'? Is the neuron then at rest?

Yes...probably if one means that nothing is changing and no ions are going in and out.

But NO in terms of 'excitability' - no neuron is more excitable than the neuron at rest, it seems!

The least excitable neuron is the 'accomodated neuron', with wide open ion channels, where ions can freely 'swim in and out' and there is no potential across the membrane. 

So, what is desirable in order to sleep? (my personal goal) - having neurons at reast potential 70 mV with re-closed CL ion gates (at rest, but very excitable!) or

accomodated neurons, that have a tension BELOW threshold tension, with open ion channels, that CANNOT be excited?

Sleeping pills work by 'working' on the Cl- ion channel, as it that opening in order to let CL- in to reach 'rest potential' OR in order to 'accomodate' the neuron so there is no more potential anymore across the membrane?

What is the difference between people WITHOUT sleeping pills during SWS = Slow Wave Sleep and people WITH sleeping pills during SWS? Former having neurons at rest potential, only firing within the pattern of neural oscillation of SWS, and second....having no neural oscillation because all neurons are 'accomodated' ('flat out open, 'vast drunk' so to speak and not reacting to anything')?

Thanks for helping me out!

Philippe -

14 september 2013

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First two questions, then the relevance.

1) Making a MEG scan of a small, inner brain part is possible: see the MEG scanning of the amygdala amongst others in 2010,

The amygdala measures around 1 inch.

Does anybody know whether we can already approach the MEG scanning of 0,5 inch, the size of the VLPO?

2) Do you know where 'volunteers with money' can have their amygdala MEG-scanned?

This would enormously a) help MEG scan manufacturers b) patients, in making the diagnosis. For a good explanantion of the main mental 'disoroders' in relationship to MEG scans of the neuroscience, see Chapter 11 of 'Emotion Regulation and Psychopathology' by Kring and Sloan, 2010, The Guilford Press New York.

The diagnosis has also enormous impact on a) disability attests b) treatments.

It looks, as so often, that research & scan manufacturers, and the top of patient organisations have to seek eachother in order to FORCE revolution amongst MD's. MD's are (generally speaking) holding up all dissimination of research.

From treatment point of view, the same order of magnitude (half or whole inch) is the precision currently achieved by time-varying magnetic induction (for neural activation).

Any comments are most welcome on

Philippe Blankert 16 October 2013

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Our new MEG page got a lot of new interesting posts!


Philippe Blankert, 17 March 2013

Intro-question for all, burning question for many: can the MEG go as deep to measure parts of the the VLPO?

See what Pittsburgt tries to perform for MEG/epilepqy:

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For purposes of completeness of research, would it not be good to measure and scan ALL elements of the Dr.C Saper fliflopcircuit (

Could alle measurement, incl. VLPO firing, be measured with MEG, or would we need other neuro imaging scanners as well?

Join our MEG - magnetoencephalography community as well, on
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