Category Archives: electrophysiology

Fine-tuning optogenetics

    How can we know the functional roles of particular populations of neurons in the brain? Optogenetics is the 2010 “Method of the Year” selection at Nature Methods. One use of optogenetics is to stimulate the production of action potentials … Continue reading

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Inability to experience pain

Voltage-gated sodium channels produce action potentials that carry pain sensation into the central nervous system. Here is an article about a family with members who exhibit a congenital inability to experience pain: A stop codon mutation in SCN9A causes lack … Continue reading

Posted in congenital insensitivity to pain, Diseases, electrophysiology, NaV1.7, pharmacology, ranolazine | Tagged , | Leave a comment

How many types of photoreceptor cells do we have?

Before this century, the answer was 2: rods and cones (see this textbook). However, there was good evidence that rods and cones could not account for all responses to light in mammals (1). In 2000, it was suggested that melanopsin-expressing retinal … Continue reading

Posted in circadian rhythm, electrophysiology, Leber hereditary opic neuropathy, retinal ganglion cells, sensory physiology, vision | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Pain sensation and sodium channels

  Panamanian golden frog This blog post is on the trail of potential new treatments for chronic pain conditions. NaV1.8 is one of the types of voltage-gated sodium channels present in pain sensory neurons. Several types of ion channels have … Continue reading

Posted in electrophysiology, NaV1.8, pain | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment