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Electrochemistry and Neuroscience

O'Kelly, Gregory (2003) Electrochemistry and Neuroscience.

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Abstract

Electrochemistry and Neuroscience Abstract and Keywords Neurophysiology has long characterized the method of functioning of the nervous system as electrical. This characterization preceded the understanding of the physical sciences with regard to the phenomenon of electricity as dependent upon the movement of electrons and holes, and the role of the electron in chemistry and electrochemistry. The theoretical understanding of the underlying physics behind cell membrane voltages is based upon an 1888 equation, the Nernst equation, which was not about electricity at all. This theoretical understanding, from Julius Bernstein in 1902 was not revised when the physical sciences arrived at the description of cathode rays as electrons and ionizing beta radiation. Consequently, even until the present, neuroscience has struggled with a treatment of electricity that is archaic, a treatment that prevents the understanding of the electrochemical nature of the nervous system, a treatment, which perpetuates the clinical inconsequence of neurological science by preventing the true simulation of the nerve impulse as one involving electrochemistry. In place of this understanding has arisen a form of pseudo-physics that considers the movement of ions in an electrolytic cell as I in the equation V=IR instead of R, that invokes obscure entities as proton pumps to account for energy transmission in the cell, and that labels this pseudo-explanation as the chemiosmotic hypothesis. This suggests that neuroscience's theoretical understanding of electricity is still in the 19th century, and its clinical poverty is a result of this. List of Key Words chemiosmotic hypothesis, proton pump, electron, electrochemistry, electricity, beta radiation, Nernst equation, cathode rays, ions, ionic currents

EPrint Type:Preprint
Keywords:List of Key Words chemiosmotic hypothesis, proton pump, electron, electrochemistry, electricity, beta radiation, Nernst equation, cathode rays, ions, ionic currents
Subjects:Theory > Philosophy of Science
ID Code:144
Deposited By:O'Kelly, Gregory
Deposited On:25 April 2003