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.