52: The action potential and the synapse

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58 minutes

In this video we’ll learn the physiology of how nerve cells transmit electrical signals.  Note that there is also a download page for that extra strip from the bottom of lesson 11, which you will now need for this lesson.


Template page for drawing 52

Info page for drawing 52

Extra strip from lesson 11 if you need it

Final sample for drawing 52


Activity 52-1:  Simulation of saltatory conduction using dominoes

Saltatory conduction is a fancy term for the electrical signal skipping from node to node. (“Saltere” is Latin for “jump.”) The insulation provided by the Schwann cells is so good that the electrical signal can simply zip through without having to do all that action potential stuff.  The action potential occurs only at the nodes.  This makes the signal travel a lot faster.   You can simulate this using dominoes and rulers.  You’ll need enough dominoes or small blocks to make two lines, one with all action potential and one with simulated Schwann cells (rulers).

For a short paragraph and simple pictures click here:  Instructions for saltatory conduction demo using dominoes

To see a video of this demonstration, click here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mzgTV59su18&feature=youtu.be


Activity 52-2:  Computer simulation of action potential

Click on the link below to use an interactive simulation of action potential in neurons.




4)  QUIZ


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