Questions tagged [action-potential]

A rapid change in the membrane potential of excitable cells such as neurons and muscles; this usually involves a steep rise (depolarization) followed by a steep fall in membrane potential (repolarization). The cell subsequently enters a short refractory period (hyperpolarized state) during which it cannot generate another action potential.

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1answer
785 views

Purpose of K+ channels in action potential

I understand that they serve to repolarize the neuron after the Na+ influx. What I don't understand is why this is important. Meaning, let's say all the K+ channels disappeared. So now the ...
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At what point during an action potential are the sodium potassium pumps working?

I'm trying to understand how all of the potentials during an action potential are created. My question specifically is about the sodium potassium pumps, however I would also be grateful if someone ...
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Refractory period in action potential

I know that the part E in this graph is definitely the part of refractory period. My question : Will there be any effect on B,C or D if a stimulus is given at time B,CorD respectively ?
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751 views

What recovers normal polarisation after hyperpolarisation?

I have been taught that a $\ce{Na+/~K+}$ pump helps to recover normal polarisation after-hyperpolarisation in neurones. I could not find out how it does that, since I've also been taught that such a ...
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2answers
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Can a single axon propagate multiple simultaneous action potentials?

I have not been able to locate any research that indicates whether a single axon of a neuron or nerve cell can conduct multiple simultaneous (i.e. spatially separate) action potentials. I am aware ...
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215 views

Original paper about the all or none law for neurons

I am looking for the original paper about the all or none law for neural activity. I know that there is a very old article about the all or none law for mammalian heart muscle fibers, but I'm ...
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Why does the membrane of a neuron not stay at its depolarized state?

When an action potential is transmitted along the axon, the membrane reaches its depolarized state by opening Na+ channels. Both K+ (potassium) and Na+ (sodium) are now on both sides with close to ...
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565 views

Confused at what is happening with these action potentials

Ok so for a bit of a background, I am doing a science project looking at the action potentials of the earthworm. I anaesthatized the worms then hooked them up to a spiker box (http://backyardbrains....
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Why does an electric shock contract the muscle?

From what I understand, the electrical impulse in our nerve cells is not made of electrons, but of ions that move from different environments with different concentrations, which is totally not ...
7
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81k views

What is the effect of extra-cellular potassium concentration on heart rate and conduction velocity?

If the extracellular potassium concentration surrounding a myocyte increases, then the potassium gradient accross the cell membrane decreases, and therefore the resting membrane potential will become ...
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2answers
4k views

How to conceptualize the action potential?

In my AP Biology class, we were taught that action potentials are not electrical impulses in the same way current travels through a wire. Rather, we were taught that action potentials are changing ...
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622 views

Can Two Opposite Running Action Potential Cross Each Other without Annihilation in One Axon

Can two opposite travelling action potential cross each other annihilation in an axon? My answer would be affirmative. If the propagation mechanism is linear as described by https://en.wikipedia.org/...
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Action potential and sodium channels

In this video on electro tonic potential, the tutor says that when the potassium channels open the potential drops from +40mV to -80mV, where the sodium channels have already closed at +40mV. Now in ...
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1answer
223 views

Why do ion leak channels exist?

I've recently learned about ion leak channels in the context of membrane potential and action potentials. Neurons have ion pumps that require energy in order to maintain the resting membrane potential ...
5
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1answer
268 views

What is the mechanism by which myelination reduces the capacitance of the axon membrane?

There are two mechanisms that have been proposed to me. 1) Layering of Schwann cell membrane with conducting fluid between the layers is analogous to several capacitors in series. Since capacitance ...
5
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1answer
116 views

Where does this equation in the electrophysiology literature form come from?

In my studies I keep coming across the form of an equation that is used in many different mathematical models for voltage gated ion channels. The most general form I have found is in the 1977 paper ...
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126 views

How to measure Na/K channel activation at the membrane level?

Assume that there are two different signals occurring on the ECG - during depolarization and repolarization in the standard ECG. I was advised not to use the standard ECG in measuring the exact ...
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739 views

Could an action potential produce few or more neurotransmitters based on the stimulus received?

I reckon that if you would be able to widen the AP width, it would produce more neurotransmitters in that larger time interval. Is that correct? Or does the neuron have a standard amount of ...
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Why nerve fibre is infatiguable?( is my conjecture correct?)

According to this: A nerve fibre cannot be fatigued, even if it is stimulated for a long time. This property of infatiguability is due to absolute refractory period. How is refractory period ...
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1answer
840 views

If a blocker prevents repolarization, will the neuron be stuck in a depolarized state forever?

Potassium channels help to repolarize the cell after depolarization. But if the potassium channels are blocked, potassium ions cannot flow out of the cell to increase the membrane potential. Thus, one ...
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129 views

Oscillatory electrical system using a chain of neurons

Many daily activities that we perform are result of inbuilt oscillatory circuits in our body. For example walking, breathing, heart beat, blinking, etc. The coding and decoding of stored memory also ...
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How does a higher channel density increase speed of propagation of an Action Potential?

If there is a higher density of sodium channels then there will more Na$^+$ flux in the cell. So it's like trying to pass more material through a pipe and therefore the speed of action potential (AP) ...
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1answer
589 views

Why do the size of the phase 1 notch vary among cardiac cells?

The size of the phase 1 notch varies among cardiac cells. It is prominent in myocytes in the epicardial and midmyocardial regions of the left ventricular wall and in ventricular Purkinje fibers. ...
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What is the difference between a graded potential and an action potential?

I was under the impression the only signals neurons send using changes in membrane potential are action potentials. But my biology professor showed us diagrams of graded potentials and action ...
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What material fills the synaptic cleft? Is it water?

The synaptic cleft is the gap between the pre-synaptic and post-synaptic neurons, and neurotransmitters are transferred between the neurons within this region. What substance exits in this space, is ...
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1answer
88 views

Neuronal membrane resting potential for large cells

I'm reading Medical Physiology by Boron and Boulpaep (a really terrific book). In the chapter Electrophysiology of the Cell Membrane, section Membrane Potential Is Generated by Ion Gradients, Not ...
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1answer
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Sodium-Potassium Pump

From my understanding, in the sodium-potassium pump we have Na+ inside the cell and K+ outside the cell, thus forming a so called "salted banana." After reading my textbook I found many statements ...
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1answer
556 views

Why summation takes place at Initial segment?

I know that many EPSPs summate at initial segment to produce action potential. But I don't understand why if EPSP can travel from dendrite to initial segment, then why it doesn't travel further? ...
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What makes synaptic vesicle release probabilistic?

The fusion of synaptic vesicles (SVs) with the plasma membrane of the active zone (AZ) upon arrival of an action potential (AP) at the presynaptic compartment is a tightly regulated probabilistic ...
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74 views

What does myelin insulate against, exactly?

I am aware of the saltatory conduction model, nodes of Ranvier and all that, and that myelin lets electrical signals "jump". What does not add up to me entirely is what the myelin sheath insulates ...
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Movement of few ion during changes in membrane potential

My question is very simple: why is it sufficient for a very few ions (such as 1 in 100000 K+) to move across the membrane to generate a remarkable variation in the membrane potential (like a change of ...
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2answers
229 views

Why does resting potential not become continually more negative?

(Firstly, I know this is similar to other questions, but I have read those answers and they do not really cover this topic). My understanding of resting potential: action potential is not being ...
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2answers
82 views

Can below-threshold potential changes of neurons convey information?

In neuroscience we learn that when the membrane potential of a neuron reaches a threshold (typically around -55mV) it "spikes": That is, it actively propagates a signal. I have two related ...
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2answers
128 views

How does entry of Ca²⁺ to the myocardiocyte make it more contractible?

I'm trying to understand why an increase of Ca2+ entering into the cell, increases the force of the heart contractions. Based on what I have watched in many lectures videos on Youtube (this one- "...
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1answer
283 views

What causes sodium channels to open?

What triggers the opening of sodium channels in a neuronal membrane? Is it acetylcholine that activates sodium channels in the postsynaptic membrane? Are sodium channels like receptors that have to ...
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1answer
89 views

Relationship between membrane current and voltage in neurons

Depolarization of neurons leads currents of different magnitudes flow in or out of the cell, and the Sodium and Potassium currents can be separately plotted (Purves): Caption: Relationship between ...
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1answer
66 views

How does (action potential) hyper-polarisation work?

I understand that after depolarisation, repolarisation and then hyperpolarisaiton occurs and that an area in hyperpolarisation is in its "refractory period". Why does this prevent Na+ ions diffusing "...
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1answer
4k views

What are negative and positive after potentials?

After depolarization: is the slow repolarization phase which follows a rapid fall in spike potential and extends up to attainment of the RMP level. It is called phase of negative after potential and ...
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2answers
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Stimulating an axon causes impulses to travel both ways?

A diagram is presented as such above. The question given states What would be the effect of stimulation to cause a nerve impulse with a microelectrode at the middle of the axon? I thought the nerve ...
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1answer
51 views

Confusion over role of current/potential in Nervous system?

I am taking a course on the nervous system and I am do not have any physics background. Therefore, I would like to know, what are we precisely talking about when we talk about current in the nervous ...
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2answers
354 views

Why is the resting membrane potential of excitable tissue not affected by the extracellular sodium concentration?

I know that the resting membrane potential for excitable tissue (eg, nerve) is primarily determined by the electronegative difference between the inside and the outside of the membrane for potassium ...
2
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1answer
2k views

Are Na+/K+ active pumps and K+/Na+ “Leak” channels same as given in the figure?

Na+/K+ channels maintain the resting potential with other sodium and potassium channels. Then what are these "Leak" channels? are they the same Na+/K+ pump in a special condition? If so, what is it? ...
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1answer
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Why is pericardium muscle repolarizated earlier than endocardium? [closed]

I was reading about heat muscle contraction and I read: The endocardium depolarization happens earlier than pericardium , but pericarduim repolarization happens earlier, therefore the T wave in ...
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1answer
234 views

All or nothing phenomena

We know that an action potential is produced by an active cell membrane when the stimulus reaches a certain threshold. When it does, an action potential fires, and when it doesn't, nothing happens. ...
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1answer
1k views

How does core-conductor model correspond to an actual neuron?

Hi guys, looking at your average neuron, it is very difficult for me to imagine how this could be translated into a core-conductor model On the neuron above, where would be the intracellular space ...
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2answers
268 views

Do nerve cells cause action potential in cardiac muscle?

I think the answer is no, but I am not 100% sure. If it was yes, then the dendrite of the nerve cell should each time receive a stimulus causing Na+ channels to open, when the contraction happen. ...
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1answer
51 views

Action potential: why called “depolarization” when polarity is reversed, not removed?

During an action potential, the voltage shifts from the resting potential of -70 mV, to +30 mV, to then fall return back to the resting potential again of -70 mV. This reverse of the polarity, what ...
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1answer
2k views

Why is extracellular measurement of action potentials so different from intracellular?

I had read in a paper that present a low noise amplifier the following: "...This level of input signal is larger than both typical action potentials (<500μV) and local field potentials (<5 mV). ...
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2answers
54 views

How are presynaptic burst firing signals transmitted post-synaptically?

Neurons can exhibit burst firing and this presynaptic process basically results in a flurry of action potentials being fired in a short time window. I'm, however, wondering how these signals are ...
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0answers
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Functional role of the myelin sheath [duplicate]

One usually reads that the functional role of the myelin sheath is being a good insulator, accelerating the speed of action potential propagation along the myelinated axon. I tried to understand this ...