A nerve is collected bundles of neurons that function as a team. The individual neurons in a single nerve fiber vary significantly in size, myelination, receptor expression and neurotransmitter types, conduction velocities, to name an obvious few.

3D reconstruction of neurons | 출처: ZEISS Microscopy 3D reconstruction of neurons,
ZEISS Microscopy

Such heterogeneity is essential for the proper function of peripheral nervous system yet it is mostly unknown how such distinct neurons are coordinated and synchronized to generate the coherent signals.

One fundamental question is their encoding system. Labelled line model from Johannes Müller (1840) and pattern theory from Sinclair & Weddell (1955) have dominated for a long time, but there are cases that neither of them can explain adequately. Ronald Melzack and Patrick Wall's Gate control theory (1965) seemed to fill in the gap, but we have yet to acquire enough data to support it.

Let this be the vital step to understand the sensory nerve system, we aim to elucidate their coding mechanism with electrophysiological, molecular biological and computational approaches.

PachClampRig

Descartes-reflex
René Descartes, Treatise of Man, 1664.