Neurons and Cells Essay

Neurons and Cells Essay

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Physiological context

Previous to Henneman’s publishing his series of papers, there were three other major constituents that have been well researched and provided the foundations to this paper.

At the commencement of the 20th century, Sherrington was the first person to describe the minute gap between neurons connecting different cells it was termed the ‘synapse’. Over numerous years of studying Sherrington concluded his findings to a theory he stated that “the nervous system acts as a coordinator of various parts of the body and that reflexes are the simplest expressions of the action”(Issue, 2010).

A synapse is a connection for reflex arc function, the neurone theory and the synaptic transmission (Pearce, 2004). Upon this theory from Sherrington, Henneman was able to provide an extension to that presenting a theory of motor control, which is widely accepted by neurophysiologists. At that time Henneman looked beyond the individual units and sought to find answers to how the individual units act together to achieve harmonized control function in complex systems (Henneman, Somjen, & Carpenter, 1965).

Experimental approach

35 cats 9 (average weight 3.2kg) had a tracheal cannula inserted and decerebrated by a small opening in the skull. Fixing the distal left femur stabilized the pelvis; all the nerves innervating the left hind limb were cut except the ones innervating triceps surae. These muscles were dissected back to allow placements of electrodes.

The achillies tendon was freed and attached to a myograph, which consisted of a mechano-electric transducer (Grass model FT10 which fed into a Tektronix type Q unit). The transducer gave a linear signal of up to 10kg tension. The L7 to S1 ventral roots were expo...

... middle of paper ...

...Sir Charles Sherrington. 2014, from
Pearce, J. M. (2004). Sir Charles Scott Sherrington (1857-1952) and the synapse. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry, 75(4), 544.
van Bolhuis, A. I., Holsheimer, J., & Savelberg, H. H. (2001). A nerve stimulation method to selectively recruit smaller motor-units in rat skeletal muscle. J Neurosci Methods, 107(1-2), 87-92.
Wakeling, J. M., Kaya, M., Temple, G. K., Johnston, I. A., & Herzog, W. (2002). Determining patterns of motor recruitment during locomotion. J Exp Biol, 205(Pt 3), 359-369.
Wakeling, J. M., Uehli, K., & Rozitis, A. I. (2006). Muscle fibre recruitment can respond to the mechanics of the muscle contraction. J R Soc Interface, 3(9), 533-544. doi: 10.1098/rsif.2006.0113

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