Discussion: Electrical Properties of the Neuron

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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?

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For this week’s Discussion, you examine the electrical properties of individual neurons and the ethical implications of electrical brain stimulation.

Note: For this Discussion, you are required to complete your initial post before you will be able to view and respond to your colleagues’ postings. Begin by clicking on the Post to Discussion Question link, and then select Create Thread to complete your initial post. Remember, once you click on Submit, you cannot delete or edit your own posts—and cannot post anonymously. Please check your post carefully before clicking on Submit.

To prepare:

  • Review this week’s Learning Resources, focusing on the electrical signaling properties of a neuron and how neural signals are generated.
  • As you are reading, consider the ethical implications of electrical brain stimulation.

By Day 3

  • 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
    • 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.

Support your posting with specific references from literature in the Walden Library and Learning Resources. Zero plagiarizing, quote work, no.com’s

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