Electric Conduction Effects in the Neuronal Cytoskeleton Hold the Key to Our Understanding of the Biophysics of Consciousness

Volume 19
Issue 2
Jack A. Tuszyński
Electrical activity of the brain is the basis of our understanding of
neurophysiology. Electrical signals in the form of action potentials
propagate along axons and are relayed via synaptic connections between
neurons. Neuronal cytoskeleton is constructed from parallel bundles of
microtubules interconnected by microtubule associated proteins (MAPs). In
this paper we provide an overview of the electrical properties of
microtubules and actin filaments which act as bioelectric circuits. It is well
known that impairment of neuronal cytoskeleton results in various
neurodegenerative diseases. Therefore, it stands to reason that these
electrical properties of neuronal cytoskeleton are of critical importance to
our understanding of consciousness as an emergent property. This short
paper provides an overview of this issue.