April 01, 2005
And it rocks and I rock because I cooked. it. Oh yeah.
Lets see if I can use this thing to clear my head on a few things…
topic – sleep (ironic yes but from the whole course it was actually the most accessible and interesting one that presented itself).
Specifically, REM, or 'paradoxical' sleep (PS). What about it? Two options now: i) write on structures mediating onset and regulation of PS + relevant biochemistry, ii) write on how events at the molecular and cellular level produce characteristic gross electrophysiological features of PS. Requirements – want to be able to cover structural, electrophysiological & biochemical levels of description smoothly. This kind of pointless indecision is so fucking typical of me. How would I go about these? In a nutshell: i) Crucial structure is pons; pontine cholinergic neurons activate LGN + other relay nuclei of thalamus, which in turn project to cerebral cortex. Locus Coeruleus produces muscle atonia by noradrengergic suppresion of spinal motoneurons. Lots of indirect inhibition going on between MCH, orexinergic & GABAergic neuons around hypothalamus, NA & cholinergic neurons in BS & LDT…
ii) electrophysiological characteristics of PS? Cortical Desynchronisation & decreased enhancement of signal:noise ratio due to lack of neocortical norepinephrine. PGO spikes originating in pontine reticular formation thought to cause rapid eye movements (phasic phenomenon). Theta rhythms (5–7hz; 200 ms pulses regulated by periodic waves of GABA from medial septum organise incoming informaiton into orderly packages) cyclically depolarize hippocampal cells, allowing activation of NMDA receptors —> cascade of intracellular events —> synaptic plasticity.
Pros for i):
lots of info on it
easy to get info
also on psychobiology course so double benefit
…But it is a bit dull at times. Hard to include electrophysiology. Don't want to be regurgitating lecture notes or even worse saying stuff that contradicts them.
Pros for ii)
Theta waves are cool
All levels of description
Pretty advanced shit
But…might be hard to get enough material on it, it is digressing into memory too much, and you can probably talk about absolutely any neural event in terms of electrophysiology; hard to link up theta waves PGO spikes and beta waves on other grounds.
DID THIS HELP?
Actually yes, quite a lot. Probably go for i) – might be able to indulge myself & sneak something in bout Theta rhythms. Just have to actually get the thing done & stop fannying around like I always do.
If anyone has actually read this far I am surprised & slightly sorry. I suppose blogging all this out makes it a more 'official' decision to some extent & should give me less scope for changing my mind. Fuck this I don't have to justify myself to a web page or its hypothetical potential readership.Aaah catharsis. Bipolar. Blog Therapy.
Wrestling with one of the 3 easter essays; different sources say contradictory things and textbooks are too simple or non-committal to be of any use.
[Got to end this now on brothers comp + late…get back to it]
March 30, 2005
Ok here it is, I'm making an entry on this thing. Probably something best done when one is feeling inspired or incensed, can't honestly claim either of those right now. Often feel like I have a knack for articulate wittering devoid of any particular content to speak of, better try to get that out of the system before exams. Worked at GCSE, they don't seem to like unbridled verbosity nowadays. There goes my niche.
Some thoughts, then. Hmmm. (Does typing in grammatical 'ponder' phrases like 'hmmm' actually help me think or convey any meaningful information at all? I digress…)
Suppose the mind is gradually drifting towards exam-type thoughts. Feels a bit early, but I seem to recall it felt all too late last time round.
Almost feels like it's the 'big push' when you mull it over like this. Second year exams. Big thing.
But these musings don't really sum up my general mood. Not at all really. Like to think I'm one of those cheery optimistic types. Well I am. It seems ironic that once you take a moment and reflect on this kind of thing it just sounds dry and sardonic. 'I'm a cheery optimistic guy'. See? Sounds like I'm taking the piss. Admittedly I probably am just in anlaysing the thing so much. Keep it up John: Successfully pontificating about nothing in particular. Still got that niche.
Biggest events of the last week? Frustration in having forgotten to bring a phone charger home for easter; I effectively have no phone. You don't realise just how big an issue this is until it happens – and I'm the first to find it utterly ridiculous that the world falls apart without a mobile. Ok, that's a big overstatement. Have missed 2 parties & a few kickarounds already in the half-week i've been back though. No worries. Stay cheery.
Also am a bit fucked off because I've lost some draw. No, 'lost' doesn't quite cut it. Baccy & Weed have been removed from my jacket pocket – I'm sure of it. Can't just ask my mum if she's harbouring a bag of skunk that ain't hers though. Best I could do was hints at the dinner table earlier; "Don't need a conservatory. We can build an air-raid shelter. Could rent it out to wealthy illegal aliens [?] and GROW WEED." Did the hint fall on deaf ears? Fuck it. I'll ask her if she fancies a splee next time (fat chance).
Anything more? This is only my first entry. 'First of many' would follow that nicely, but someting tells me that would be a lie. Never was too good at diaries. Once I get the hang of unconscientiously blurbing I'll blog on a bit more often.
Adios avid readers. Until the next time…