Neuro 317 Methods in Computational Neurobiology
Univ. of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Prof. Mark Nelson

Homework 1 - Problem 3

3. It is essential to use a self-consistent set of units in your neural simulations. Assume that the RC circuit above represents an arbitrary sized patch of neural membrane. The parameters R and C then refer to the specific (e.g. per unit area) resistance and capacitance. Values for a typical neuron might be:

R = 10 kOhm-cm2 and C = 1 µF/cm2

(a) This choice of R-C units dictates the time units for the simulation. What are they?

(b) If we choose the voltage units to be mV, what are the units for current?

(c) With the above parameter values, how much current is required to achieve a steady-state depolarization of 10 mV in a spherical neuron 10 µm in diameter?


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