Home > Conscious > 6. GIRK Channels


The full name of GIRK channels is "G protein-gated inwardly rectifying potassium channels". When they are open, the K+ ions will flow outward, resulting in membrane hyperpolarization. Hence, the opening of GIRK channels will reduce neuronal excitability, having inhibitory effects on neuronal firing.

GIRK channels are involved in a wide range of physiological and psychological processes, including pain, mood, cognition, addiction, epilepsy and arrhythmia (Lujan et al, 2014; Mayfield et al, 2015). This chapter describes only their basic functions, subsequent chapters will explain how they may affect consciousness (Chapter 7), feeling (Chapter 12), addiction (Chapter 13) and mental disorders (Chapter 14).

6.1. G Proteins

6.2. G Protein-coupled Receptors

6.3. The GPCRs Coupled with GIRK Channels

6.4. GIRK Channels Suppress ISO-nested Oscillations

6.5. The Activation Mechanism of GIRK Channels


Author: Frank Lee
First Published: July 27, 2016