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Appraisal of the papers by our peers Waardering van the artikelen

A. Research
on fluctuations
and noise

A. Toevalsprocessen in het zenuwstelsel (Engels)

"The application of fluctuation analysis to conduction processes 
in excitable membranes has developed rapidly 
since the
early work of Derksen and Verveen* (1966) on the node of Ranvier."
Membrane Ionic Currents
, Current Noise, and. Admittance in Isolated 
Cockroach Axons.
Yves Pichon, Denis Poussart, and Graham V. Lees, 1983 
Chapter 10 in:
Chang, D.C., Tasaki, I., Adelman, W. J., and Lenchtag,
Structure and Function in Excitable Cells,  H. R., Eds. Springer

"In 1966, Verveen and Derksen* published an intriguing investigation of 
noise aimed at understanding the probabilistic behavior of 
neurons in the CNS.

By describing a potential role for noise in computation,
this pioneering work changed the prevalent view in biology of 

noise as a bothersome phenomenon."
Traynelis, S.F. & F. Jaramillo. 1998
Getting the most out of noise in the central nervous system
Trends in Neurosciences, 21 (4): 137-145

"In fact, it is widely recognized that Derksen and Verveen* changed the 
prevalent view
of noise from a bothersome phenomenon to 
an essential component in biological systems
Roy, S & R. Llinás. 2011
The role of noise in brain function

* Derksen, H.E. and  A.A. Verveen, 1966.
Fluctuations of resting neural membrane potential.
151: 1388-1389.
More info on this paper

"it has been well known that stochastic phenomena influence action potential initiation
since Verveen’s extensive descriptions of spike timing and threshold fluctuations."
Mino H., J.T. Rubinstein, J.A White. 2002 (pdf, 170 kB)
Comparison of algorithms for the simulation of action potentials with 
stochastic sodium channels
Annals of Biomedical Engineering30 (4): 578-587
This paper refers to the role played by my Ph.D. thesis: 
Verveen, A.A. 1961. Fluctuation in excitability.

More info on my thesis

Rubinstein, J.T. 1995 (pdf, 1.166 kB)
Threshold fluctuations in an N sodium channel model of the node of Ranvier
Biophysical Journal 68: 779-785
Contains an extensive discussion of our noise work done 
during the 6th and 7th decade of the former century

A potential application in medicine:
Bruce, I.C. , M.W. White, L.S. Irlicht, S.J. O'Leary, G.M. Clark. 1999 
The effects of stochastic neural activity in a model predicting intensity perception
with cochlear implants: low-rate stimulation
IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, 46(12)

It is a great pity that my colleague and co-worker Hans Edi Derksen died already a long time ago. Thus, he never learned that our views on the roles of noise and chance processes in biological systems generated a paradigm shift, are now accepted by the scientific community.

The number of researchers working on the topics I am interested in is rather small. See for instance the number of articles using the work of me and my co-workers. Does the horror incerto play a role? Het aantal onderzoekers dat in de gebieden die mij interesseren werkt is vrij klein. Kijk bijvoorbeeld naar het aantal artikelen dat van ons werk gebruik maakt. Speelt de horror incerto hierin een rol?
B. On systems B. Over systemen

In my 1971 paper "In search of processes: The early history of cybernetics"
Mathematical Biosciences 11: 5-29
a conclusion was (p. 34):
"To muddle or to model, that is the question."

This sentence was used as an assignment by some authors,
and by way of an epigraph in:

Massoud, T.F., G.J. Hademenos, W.L. Young, E. Gao,

J. Pile-Spellman and F.Vinuela. 1998
Principles and philosophy of modeling in biomedical research
The FASEB Journal
, 1998, 12: 276-285

C. Snakes C. Slangen
"The behaviour cycle of the Boa constrictor in captivity
is een bijbel voor slangenhouders en -onderzoekers."
[...] is a bible for snake keepers and snake researchers (translation by AAV).
24 (25-10-2014): p. 7

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Links verified: 18 January 2015