Psychoanalytical Electrochemistry- B. JILL VENTON

In the mammalian brain, neuronal networks process vast amounts of information received from the subject’s environment from various senses such as sight, hearing, and touch, which are then combined with signals from throughout the body. Much of the signaling within the brain uses small molecules as chemical essengers (neurotransmitters) between neurons. The processing
in brain networks eventually manifests as animal
behavior—if the animal is hungry and it sees or
smells food, it will go to the food and eat it. By following the temporal fluctuations of the signaling
molecules, analytical chemists can play a major role
in explaining the processing of sensory information,
determining its various control points, and evaluating all of its complexities to help us better understand our own behaviors.
We have dubbed this emerging area “psychoanalytical”
chemistry and have recently begun to explore the issues of ongoing neurochemical processes with an electrochemical sensor that can detect the neurotransmitter dopamine.
The brain is a challenging environment for
chemical sensing because low concentrations of
analytes must be detected in the presence of interferences,while disturbing the tissue as little as possible,and because various surface processes inherent
to biological systems can affect sensor response.

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