The study of the electrical properties of biological cells and tissues.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

31
votes
5answers
2k views

Why did life not evolve to use radio?

We use electromagnetic communication everywhere these days. Cell phones, wifi, old-school radio transmissions, television, deep space communication, etc. I'm curious about some of the possible ...
14
votes
1answer
271 views

Effect of pupil responses on the electroretinogram

The electroretinogram (ERG) is a measure of electrical activity of the retina. It is typically recorded from the cornea with a wire electrode or gold-foil electrode. Generally, the the ERG is ...
9
votes
2answers
7k views

Why is saltatory conduction faster than continuous conduction?

How does spacing apart sodium and potassium channels allow the action potential to travel faster down the axon? This is the reason always cited for saltatory conduction and myelination, but my mental ...
9
votes
1answer
157 views

Is there a biophysical causation from local field potential (LFP) to spikes?

Many experiments showed that neurons tend to fire at some phase (usually trough) of local field potential (LFP) oscillations, such as theta or gamma rhythm. LFP is supposedly generated by a population ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Why is Fast Fourier Transform applied to raw EEG data?

I am trying to understand why Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) is used in the analysis of raw EEG channel data. My understanding (at the 30,000 ft view) is that FFT decomposes linear differential ...
7
votes
2answers
143 views

Why does the intensity of an action potential once generated at the trigger zone remain undistured throught the axon?

What causes this consistency? I read the previously asked questions on this site none of them carry an answer to this question.
7
votes
2answers
238 views

Is “exhaustion” of the Hodgkin-Huxley membrane at constant stimulation a real phenomenon?

I was playing around with a simulation of the Hodgkin-Huxley model using their original parameters for the squid giant axon. By applying a constant stimulation current to the model in resting state, ...
7
votes
2answers
240 views

What does pain look like in wave form?

I am interested in understanding what "pain" and "hot/cold" look like, as far as waves signatures (signal processing) go. My general understanding of how pain (nociceptive pathways) and hot/cold (...
7
votes
1answer
301 views

What is the reason behind high resting membrane potential of pacemaker cells?

Pacemaker cells have high resting membrane potentials of -50 to -40 mV, whereas normal cells have their resting membrane potential around -70 mV. Which ions, and what kind of channels are responsible ...
7
votes
2answers
186 views

Is there a biological neuron that spikes in response to hyperpolarizing currents?

As some background I've been building Electrophysiological models of neurons, and in the process stumbled upon a model, that in all respects is biologically plausible, but has a bizarre property I ...
7
votes
1answer
308 views

What keeps the resting potential of neurons constant at -70 mV?

I know the sodium-potassium pump pumps out 3 Na+ ions and pumps in 2 K+ ions per reaction so the negative charge in the axon increases. However, once the voltage (difference of charge inside and ...
6
votes
2answers
142 views

What signal processors comprise an Event-Related Potential system for EEG?

So my 30,000 ft. understanding of the EEG signal processing data flow is: Capture raw EEG data ("raw waveforms") Run these raw waveforms through a Signal Processing Framework that consists of 1+ "...
6
votes
2answers
279 views

How to analyse an ECG?

I have a project about extracting features from a homemade ECG. I need the PQRST points from the signal of the heart beat. The ECG I'm using has 3 electrodes that attach to the chest. The problem is ...
6
votes
1answer
104 views

Software recommendation for protein in electric field modeling? [closed]

I'd appreciate a suggestion for software to compare models of two proteins in an alternating electric field. The more detail, or perhaps direction towards an existing and similar paper, the better. ...
6
votes
2answers
4k views

How is membrane capacitance related to the increased speed of saltatory conduction?

Here is the original question which inspired my question. As explained by the answers there, the reason saltatory conduction in myelinated neurons is faster than non-myelinated conduction is because ...
6
votes
1answer
3k views

Why do neurons have a negative resting potential?

Neurons expend the majority of their energy powering ion pumps to maintain the chemical gradients that power their electrical activity. To have a negative resting potential, neurons leak potassium ...
6
votes
1answer
120 views

How does the frequency of a visual stimulus affect the steady-state visually evoked potential?

I want to design a project for EEG signal processing. In my research I found the concept of SSVEP. SSVEPs represent the electrical activity of the brain as measured via EEG, and are evoked by visual ...
5
votes
1answer
49 views

What physical or mental actions can be picked up by EEGs?

There certainly seem to be a lot of gadgets and gizmos leveraging EEG technologies to the control of devices. This makes me wonder: what intentions/thoughts can be captured by EEG technology, and ...
5
votes
2answers
318 views

Why does depolarisation by high intracellular K+ trigger calcium channels opening?

I have learnt that in pancreatic beta cells, glucose being metabolised in the cell causes a high ATP level, which triggers ATP-dependent potassium channels to close. This means that potassium can't ...
5
votes
1answer
113 views

Criteria for compound action potential thresholds

As opposed to action potential thresholds (which are binary yes/no events), electrophysiological thresholds of compound action potentials are arbitrary. Mostly a certain noise level is picked and when ...
4
votes
1answer
100 views

Why isn't there any repulsive force between Na+ and K+ disrupting thier roles in transmembrane voltage/ action potentials

Pretty self explanatory question. I have a basic grasp on the "How" and "Why" of Reversal/Action Potential in and between neurons, but this question lingers.
4
votes
2answers
196 views

Are Gram negative bacteria classified as such because of their negative membrane potential?

Does the membrane potential usually quoted for Gram negative bacteria (e.g., E. coli) refer to the potential across both membranes? - If yes, then does the potential fall more over the inner or outer ...
4
votes
2answers
124 views

Connect the inner and outer space of cell with a wire, will there be electricity?

There is a potential difference, but ions can not go through wires, right? Though there is a electric field, but there is no electron source, I am thinking the answer is no, or will there be some ...
4
votes
1answer
145 views

If the average resting potential of a neuron is -70 mV, why is there such a high ratio of potassium ions inside relative to out?

My bio teacher was discussing the ratios of different ions inside versus outside the cell. $$\text{OUT:IN}$$ $$\text{K}^+ (1:20)$$ $$\text{Cl}^- (11.5:1)$$ $$\text{Ca}^{2+} (10000:1)$$ $$\text{Na}^+...
4
votes
1answer
185 views

How's the membrane potential restored to resting state after hyper polarisation?

I have known for so long that Na+/ K+ pump restores the membrane potential. But as it pumps in 2 K+ for every 3+ Na+ moving out how can it make the membrane potential less negative when the net result ...
4
votes
1answer
229 views

Mechanisms of extracellular stimulation of neurons

When stimulating a group of neurons with an electrode, let's say we put it in a region that contains axons, what is the mechanism by which the axons are stimulated? I've been told electrodes (...
4
votes
1answer
72 views

Do repetitive movements on EEGs show up as discernible patterns?

Here is a typical EEG reading: If I am connected to an EEG, and am sitting perfectly still, and then begin doing some repetitive motion, say, 10,000 times, will we see discernible patterns emerge ...
4
votes
1answer
297 views

Doubling the concentration of extracellular calcium hyperpolarizes a neuron. Why?

I was doing some back of the envelope calculations to try to answer this question in more mathematical terms. Essentially the question states: Why does increasing the extracellular potassium ...
4
votes
2answers
446 views

Mechanism behind negative conductance of ion channels

I am struggling to understand negative conductance shown on I-V curves on ion channels. Mechanistically, negative conductance means that inward (or outward) current increases when voltage across ...
4
votes
1answer
66 views

Do local field potentials (LFP) create waves on the surfaces of nerve cells?

Are waves created by the LFP on the surfaces of neurons cell bodies? Since the cells have a resting potential, do these waves create harmonic oscillation of the membranes at particular frequencies? ...
4
votes
0answers
43 views

Why does a pacemaker have a negative pulse? [closed]

Why is the first phase of the pulse from a pacemaker cathodic?
3
votes
1answer
143 views

Can an electrocardiogram be recorded with a single electrode?

Is it possible to do an electrocardiogram with one electrode? Or is it neccesary to have multiple electrodes? I do not understand much about EKG, so I am sorry if this question sounds naive.
3
votes
2answers
991 views

Action potential changes in low sodium concentrations but constant osmotic pressure

If I bathe a squid axon in a fluid that has high sodium concentration , why does the duration of action potential decrease compared to a control experiment in low sodium bath but maintained at the ...
3
votes
1answer
64 views

What is the lower temperature limit for ion channels function?

What is the cold-block temperature of ion channels? (not of nerves or axons)
3
votes
1answer
357 views

How does a microelectrode work?

On Wikipedia, the entire microelectrode page states only the following: A microelectrode is an electrode of very small size, used in electrophysiology for either recording of neural signals or ...
3
votes
1answer
50 views

Understanding the configuration of channels in the 10-20 EEG montage

In a typical 10-20 system there are 21 electrodes placed on the scalp. However, this does not mean there are 21 distinct "channels" or voltage sources. I've heard that some of these electrodes are "...
3
votes
1answer
111 views

What is the direction of current flow in myelinated nerve cells?

Is it correct to say electric current flows through the extracellular space, or cytosol of a nerve fiber during impulse conduction? I know that an impulse is actually a change of membrane potential ...
3
votes
1answer
40 views

Efficacy of the 10-20 montage for EEG

I am trying to better understand the relationship between the placement of EEG electrodes and the quality of the "brainwave" signals they produce. There is the standard 10-20 system which has me ...
3
votes
1answer
38 views

classical conditioning paradigm for hippocampal learning

I wanted to know what a suitable classical conditioning experiment would be to analyze learning and memory capabilities in rodent models with respect to hippocampal long-term potentiation. For ...
3
votes
1answer
167 views

Explanation of ECG in MI using an electrostatic model

I found a paper presenting an electrostatic model to explain the ECG recorded in various leads. This model essentially calls for considering the depolarization wavefront to be the major contributing ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the difference between rheobase and threshold?

Neuronal tissues can be excited by electrical stimulation. Two commonly encountered characteristics for electrically stimulating nerve cells is the threshold and the rheobase. My question is what the ...
3
votes
1answer
43 views

What are tail currents?

This is a voltage clamp on an ion channel. When the voltage is stopped there is a still a current at the end (the tail current). I understand that the gates aren't completely closed because of which ...
3
votes
0answers
7 views

At which voltage will the conductance decrease due to the narrow pore in a voltage-gated potassium channel?

If you have a voltage-gated potassium channel that do not inactivate, at which voltage would you see decrease in ion conductance related to the narrow path in the pore? With that said I know that in ...
3
votes
0answers
18 views

Potential homogeneity across cell membrane

During respiration, individual bacteria (and mitocondria) produce a relatively large potential difference (∼100 mV) between the inside and outside, using energy to pump $H^+$ out of the cell to the ...
3
votes
0answers
62 views

Patch-Clamping Neurons Resources [closed]

Are there any lectures available on Patch-Clamping? Were can I find a mathematical model of Patch-Clamp? (that can be easily implemented in matlab). I have found some step-by-step protocols on (...
2
votes
2answers
173 views

How precise is EEG?

Imagine we want to read impulses within single neurons in the brain. Can we do that now for a single region within the brain? If not, what is the smallest region that can be monitored for an activity ...
2
votes
1answer
29 views

Minimal viable EEG equipment for dissertation research on BCI / BMI

I am planning out a dissertation study of Brain-computer Interface (a.k.a. Brain-machine Interface, BCI, BMI, etc) applications. One of the 3 papers in that dissertation will involve collecting ...
2
votes
2answers
149 views

Breakdown current for human body

If I am not mistaken, during exposure to electricity sources it is the magnitude of the current and not the voltage that kills the human body. If so, what is the order of magnitude of current that ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Why does high-voltage mostly shock a person, and even small current kill?

This may be the wrong forum to ask. For instance several people are known to have survived a direct lightning strike; albeit the number of fatalities are probably far larger. Anyway, I found myself ...
2
votes
1answer
179 views

What are wave frequencies in the EEG?

Here is a typical EEG reading: I understand that each row corresponds to the signal read between two sensors on a standard 10-20 (or 10-5) distribution setup (e.g. ...