Prog. Theor. Phys. Vol. 53 No. 2 (1975) pp. 305-314
Theory of Wave Propagation in Nervous System
— An Example of Dissipative Structure in an Open System
Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sceinces, Hokkaido University, Sapporo
(Received July 13, 1974)
Propagation of an action potential in a nervous cell is studied theoretically on the basis of the notion that the excitation of nerve membrane is a transition bteween two non-equilibrium steady states. Basic phenomenological equations are derived for the excitation process taking consideration of the long-range dissipative interaction caused by the electric eddy current. Numerical calculations of these equations, show the occurrence of a solitary wave of an action potential under appropriate initial and boundary conditions, where both the nonlinear effect of the eddy current and the non-markoffian effect of accumulation of ions at the membrane surface are shown to play a role in the apprearance of a nervous soliton. Characteristics of the nervous soliton are studied numerically by the use of a simplified basic equation, and compared with the other types of solitary waves, e.g., the KdV soliton in a shallow water wave and the Toda soliton in a lattice vibration.
DOI : 10.1143/PTP.53.305
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