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Front. Physiol. | doi: 10.3389/fphys.2018.00779

The soliton and the action potential – primary elements underlying sentience

  • 1NPC Newton, France, France
  • 2Biology, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, Italy
  • 3Institute of Ageing and Chronic Diseases, University of Liverpool, United Kingdom
  • 4NPC, United Kingdom

At present the neurological basis of sentience is poorly understood and this problem is exacerbated by only a partial knowledge of how one of the primary elements of sentience, the action potential, actually works. This has consequences for our understanding of how communication within the brain and in artificial brain neural networks (BNNs). Reverse engineering models of brain activity assume processing works like a conventional binary computer and neglects speed of cognition, latencies, error in nerve conduction and the true dynamic structure of neural networks in the brain. Any model of nerve conduction that claims inspiration from nature must include these prerequisite parameters, but current western computer modelling of artificial BNNs assumes that the action potential is binary and binary mathematics has been assumed by force of popular acceptance to mediate computation in the brain.

Here we present evidence that the action potential is a temporal compound ternary structure, described as the computational action potential CAP. The CAP contains the refractory period, an analogue third phase capable of phase-ternary computation via colliding action potentials. This would best fit a realistic brain neural network and provides a plausible mechanism to explain transmission, in preference to Cable Theory. The action potential pulse (APPulse), is made up of the action potential combined with a coupled synchronized soliton pressure pulse in the cell membrane. We describe a model of an ion channel in a membrane where a soliton deforms the channel sufficiently to destroy the electrostatic insulation thereby instigating a mechanical contraction across the membrane by electrostatic forces. Such a contraction has the effect of redistributing the force lengthways thereby increasing the volume of the ion channel in the membrane. Na ions, once attracted to the interior, balance the forces and the channel reforms to its original shape. A refractory period then occurs until the Na ions diffuse from the adjacent interior space.

Finally, a computational model of the action potential (the CAP) is proposed with single action potentials significantly including the refractory period as a computational element capable of computation between colliding action potentials.

Keywords: sentience, Action Potentials, soliton, phase ternary computation, brain neural networks.

Received: 31 Jan 2018; Accepted: 04 Jun 2018.

Edited by:

Peter J. Fraser, University of Aberdeen, United Kingdom

Reviewed by:

Fenglian Xu, Saint Louis University, United States
Tibor Kiss, Institute of Ecology Research Center, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Hungary  

Copyright: © 2018 Johnson and Winlow. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. William Winlow, WINLOW., Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, Biology, Via Cintia 26, Napoli, 80126, Campania, Italy, bill.winlow@gmail.com