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An Active Pulse Transmission Line Simulating Nerve Axon

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3 Author(s)
J. Nagumo ; Dept. of Applied Physics, Faculty of Engineering, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan ; S. Arimoto ; S. Yoshizawa

To electronically simulate an animal nerve axon, the authors made an active pulse transmission line using tunnel diodes. The equation of propagation for this line is the same as that for a simplified model of nerve membrane treated elsewhere. This line shapes the signal waveform during transmission, that is, there being a specific pulse-like waveform peculiar to this line, smaller signals are amplified, larger ones are attenuated, narrower ones are widened and those which are wider are shrunk, all approaching the above-mentioned specific waveform. In addition, this line has a certain threshold value in respect to the signal height, and signals smaller than the threshold or noise are eliminated in the course of transmission. Because of the above-mentioned shaping action and the existence of a threshold, this line makes possible highly reliable pulse transmission, and will be useful for various kinds of information-processing systems.

Published in:

Proceedings of the IRE  (Volume:50 ,  Issue: 10 )