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Energy based description of a neuron

Ouwendorp, T. van (2017) Energy based description of a neuron. Master's Thesis / Essay, Industrial Engineering and Management.

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Abstract

Neurons are well understood from both biological and mathematical perspectives. However, a knowledge gap exists between these fields of research. In this project an attempt is made to bridge that gap by understanding a neuron from an engineering perspective. In order to do so, the main mechanism of a neuron, namely the action potential, is described in terms of energy. The Hodgkin-Huxley model, which is a mathematical model of a neuron, is simulated in Matlab. The neuron is approached from a passivity perspective, and definitions of passivity are used to develop an understanding of the energy in a neuron during an action potential. Furthermore, the behavior of a neuron is researched and explained using the Hopf bifurcation. newline A neuron produces sustained, periodic spiking for inputs between 9,7449 micro ampere and 154,7143 micro ampere. Furthermore, numerical simulations show that a neuron is not a passive system, and afterwards, a unique storage function was established in order to confirm semi-passivity, however, the storage function did not prove useful in showing semi-passivity. When inactive, and before being subjected to an input, a neuron appears to possess a certain amount of energy, this energy is released once a neuron reacts to an external input. At the peak of its action potential, a neuron appears to produce, or be injected with, a small amount of energy. As the neuron returns to an inactive state, it once again stores energy. The energy storage, production, and release, seem to be linked to the conductances of Potassium and Sodium. The exact nature of the relation between the energy and the ions, Potassium and Sodium, is not researched.

Item Type: Thesis (Master's Thesis / Essay)
Degree programme: Industrial Engineering and Management
Thesis type: Master's Thesis / Essay
Language: English
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2018 08:28
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2018 08:28
URI: http://fse.studenttheses.ub.rug.nl/id/eprint/15298

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