The Excitable Mitochondria

John Hewitt in Inference:

ScreenHunter_2292 Oct. 13 18.09Current approaches to the neurosciences are naïve and often misguided. Contemporary researchers are hopelessly enthusiastic about computer simulations, wiring diagrams or connectomes, and brain activity maps. We may need software tools to visualize brains, but they will not provide any deep understanding of the brain itself.

I shall argue that the fundamental, discrete units of the nervous system are its mitochondria. The feature that we expect of an irreducible neural component is excitability. Mitochondria take excitability to an extreme. If mitochondria are the fundamental units of the nervous systems, then in any CAD model of the brain, they are precisely the parts to which the most care and attention should be applied.

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