comments in blue
Classic papers are indicated by a blue-green background
|Verveen, A.A., 1960. On the
fluctuation of threshold of the nerve fibre.
In: Structure and
Function of the Cerebral Cortex.
D.B. Tower and J.P. Schadé, eds. Proceedings of the Second
International Meeting of Neurobiologists (Amsterdam 1959).
In this paper, I report on the
threshold fluctuations of nerve fibres.
The paper summarizes chapter
of my 1961 thesis.
studies of Pecher
(La fluctuation d'excitabilite de la fibre nerveuse, Arch Intern Physiol,
1939 and his earlier papers, see below) and,
and Erlanger (1932-1936) and Monnier
and Jasper (1932) had been utterly forgotten during "the reign of the Hodgkin-Huxley (H.H.)
model", but for Warren
S. McCulloch (the father of probabilistic neurons) (1958), Lawrence S.
Frishkopf (1956) and Walter
A. Rosenblith (1959), as I was to learn much later.
three were at that time working at the
Massachussetts Institute of Technology, MIT, Cambridge, USA.
I confirmed Blair
& Erlanger's (1933) and Pecher's
(1937) conclusion that the stochastic behaviour of
nerve fibres is due to an inherent property of the fibre. People
considered the H.H.-model being deterministic, so my
the stochastic behaviour of nerve fibres were for a long time thought to be just a
description of artifacts, despite proof of the reverse, so I "had been stumbling into the pitfall of
instrumental noise". This attitude changed, gradually, only after the appearance of our 1966 paper in Science. I am, therefore, not impressed by the peer referee system. It is the
scientific community as such who, in the long run, decides what is
worth knowing. It is, by the way, also possible that people are reluctant
to accept that nervous systems including our own are probabilistic.
Only two people, Warren
S. McCulloch in Cambridge, Mass. and Henk
van der Tweel in Amsterdam, did in the mean time consider my
measurements and results to be of a true property of neural tissue.
The blue-green background indicates that the paper is still cited occasionally,
more than 30 years after the original date of publication.
|Verveen, A.A., 1961. Fluctuation
report on signal transmission in nerve fibers.
Central Institute for Brain Research. 76 pages.
PhD-thesis, July 6th, 1961
The intensity of the threshold fluctuations
relative to the threshold, the "relative spread" ( RS ), appeared to be a
stimulus independent parameter of stochastic nerve fiber behaviour.
Chemical substances could influence its intensity.
This study was motivated by the thought that stochastic behaviour plays a functional role in the function of the nervous
system, even if only by statistically conveying information about
stimulus intensities of about threshold size.
|Verveen, A.A., 1962.
The influences of certain
conditions on the fluctuation in excitability of the frog node of
Pharmacol., Neerlandica 10: 294-295.
(Summary of part of the 1961 work)
|Verveen, A.A., 1962. Probability phenomena in
unmyelinated crayfish axon.
Physiol. Pharmacol., Neerlandica 11:
(Summary of part of the 1961 work)
|Verveen, A.A., 1962. A
probability phenomenon in peripheral axon.
International Congress. Physiol. (Leiden) 2: 788. (Abstract)
Of historical importance only, since
paper and the the next one by Derksen brought us into contact and
started our quest into the underlying process in the nerve membrane.
H.E. and F. van der
Influence of resting activity on sensory threshold.
International Congress Physiol. (Leiden) 2: 950.
(Abstract, see Derksen, 1964)
|Verveen, A.A., 1962. Axon
diameter and fluctuation in excitability.
Morphologica Neerlando-Scandinavica 5 (1): 79-85.
An inverse relationship was found to exist between
of the fluctuations as characterized by the relative spread (RS) and
nerve fibre diameter.
Hoopen, M. and A.A. Verveen, 1963.
Fluctuation in Excitability.
Progress in Brain Research
The injection of noise into a neuron model
reproduced the properties of fluctuation in excitability.
Intensity as well as bandwidth of the injected noise influenced the
size of the fluctuations.
stochastic response generated by the injection of noise did then
contain information about the intensity of the stimulus.
|Verveen, A.A. and J.P. Schadé. 1964.
Excitability fluctuation in axons of Sepia officinalis. Netherlands
Journal of Sea Research 2 (2): 145-154.
H.E., 1964. Discussion.
processing in the nervous system.
R.W. Gerard and J.W. Duyff, eds. Proceedings of the International Union
of Physiological Sciences, 22d International Congress, Leiden, vol. 3:
On page 392 of this paper Derksen showed
that the discontinuous
step-response of a
neuron-model aggregate to a continuously varying
intensity of the stimulus transforms
upon the injection of noise into a
stochastically smooth response range.
is forgotten and needs to be brought back into attention.
A.A. and H.E. Derksen, 1965.
Fluctuations in membrane potential of
axons and the problem of coding.
journal was originally called Kybernetik.
The paper discusses thoughts about a possible function of the
in the membrane potential of neurons and, hence, in excitability.
|Pecher, C., 1936.
Étude statistique des variations spontanées de l’excitabilité d’une fibre nerveuse.
C. R. Soc. Biol. 122: 87-91.
(Statistical study of the spontaneous variations in excitability of a nerve fibre).
|Pecher, C., 1937.
Fluctuations indépendantes de l’excitabilité de deux fibres d’un même nerf.
C. R. Soc. Biol. 124: 839-842.
(Independent fluctuations in excitability of two fibres in the same nerve).
|Pecher, C., 1939.
La fluctuation d’excitabilité de la fibre nerveuse.
Arch. Intern. Physiol. 49 (2): 129-152.
(Fluctuation in excitability of the nerve fibre).
This paper counts 9.484 kB and has been divided into three parts
|For my personal account on Charles Pecher's contributions, click here
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