Simulating stimulating bulges: the electrical meddling of neurons.

I. D. Hentall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The steady-state cable equations were used to describe the response of discontinuous neuronal cylinders to extracellular electric fields. Where two unequal diameters join, there forms a strong local peak of membrane polarization. Under fields of constant gradient, this peak roughly equals the drop in external voltage over the distance given by the larger length-constant. In contrast, altering the specific membrane resistance along part of a uniformly shaped axon affects the general level of membrane potential without causing a local peak. Field-effects due to structural discontinuities, although relevant to the interpretation of experiments using electrical stimulation, are shown to be of minor functional consequence compared to chemical gating of membrane current.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)144-148
Number of pages5
JournalPuerto Rico health sciences journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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