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When our instructor asked us about the speed of action potentials in cells, I told him that action potentials and two-wheelers travels at similar speeds. He thought that this is an 'interesting' way of looking at it.

Needless to say after the class I tried to figure out the minimum, average and maximum speed of action potentials in neurons. Wiki helped but its not authoritative. Some place it says that the fastest is 110 m/s and other place it is 120 m/s. While slowest one varies between 7 m/s (in Rana frog) to 0.5 m/s (Nociceptors) on Wiki. The average speed would be hard to calculate.

I am looking for any references where slowest and fasted action potentials are described. They would be interesting cases to write a note for classromm.

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You can search on Bionumbers.

Here is what I got after searching action potential:

  • Speed of action potential along non-myelinated invertebrate axons of ~10μm diameter = less than 1 m/s
  • Action potential speed in myelinated axon = 50 ... 100 m/s
  • Velocity of action potential in pyramidal tract at 37°C (in Cat Felis) = 164 m/s

It offers you references for every number.

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+1 for Bionumbers. –  Dilawar May 12 at 7:32
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