Geon Wireless Communication in the Brain
I. Evidence from Long Range Synchronization



In the past two decades, experiments have provided strong evidence that the brain may use extracellular electric fields to convey information, a process known as "ephaptic coupling". This paper shows that the brain may also employ electromagnetic (EM) waves for light-speed communication. In the wireless communication system, ion channels may act as the transmitting antennas while microtubules at the axon initial segment may serve as the receiving antennas. The proposed mechanism explains why some neurons are sensitive to extracellular electric fields and why distant brain areas can synchronize with zero phase lag. The ephaptic coupling may enhance neuronal excitability but usually insufficient to initiate action potentials. The final push above threshold is achieved by the EM waves to ensure precise timing of spikes in a distributed network. This notion is supported by the observation of "phase precession", namely, the spike timing precedes the peak of local field potential.


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