Nerve Impulses Essay

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LAB THREE: Neurophysiology of Nerve Impulses In addition to the Lab report assignment, you must answer the following questions after completing the lab. Submit your assignment to the Week 3 Dropbox by no later than Sunday, end of week 3, 11:59 P.M. (MT). 1. Why don’t the terms depolarization and action potential mean the same thing? (6 points) A depolarization is any change in a neuron that makes it more positive than resting potential, an action potential only occurs when the depolarization reaches the threshold level. 2. What is the difference between membrane irritability and membrane conductivity? (6 points) Irritability is the ability to respond to stimuli and convert it to nerve impulses; conductivity is the ability to actually transmit an impulse. 3. Why does a nerve’s action potential increase slightly when you add 1.0 V to the threshold voltage and stimulate the nerve? (6 points) The action potential increases because the nerve consists of more than one neuron, when you increase the voltage it increases the number of neurons that are stimulated causing depolarization of most of the neurons 4. If you were to spend a lot of time studying nerve physiology in the laboratory, what type of stimulus would you use, and why? (6 points) I would use chemical stimulation. I would want to see what different chemicals would cause an action potential vs chemicals that would not cause an action potential and whether different amounts of a particular chemical would affect the action potential. 5. Why does the addition of sodium chloride elicit and action potential? (6 points) it increases the concentration of sodium outside of the cell which generates an active transport of sodium into the cell and potassium outside of the cell. 6. What was the effect of ether on eliciting an action potential?

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