Lab 4: Membrane Action Potentials

Chapter 5

In this week's lab, students learn about the physiology of an action potential in much greater detail, including the resting membrane potential and movement of ions. We will electronic programs to demonstrate different characteristics of action potentials. Some of these include finding the threshold for generating action potentials, refractory period, direction of propagation and chronaxie time. Students will use the oscilloscope again to capture the small changes in electrical potential that occur during an action potential.

Topics to Review Before Lab:

  • Anatomy of a neuron
  • Voltage-gated ion channels
  • Ion movement during an AP/changes in membrane potential
  • Saltatory conduction
  • Refractory periods