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Action potential HTML5

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Summary

This animation presents the ionic phenomena that are at the origins of resting and action potentials  in neurons.
The neuron is an excitable cell. It is capable of responding to a preliminary stimulation – that is a threshold stimulation -- via the generation of an action potential.  When it is not producing an action potential, it produces a resting potential.

Learning goals

  • To distinguish between resting and acting potentials.
  • To understand the ionic phenomena at the origin of both types of potentials.
  • To distinguish different phases of the action potential and to associate them with the corresponding ionic phenomena.
  • To understand the ways in which ion channels in voltage dependent membranes (also sometimes called voltage gated membranes) function.
  • To introduce the notion of an electrochemical gradient.
  • To introduce the notions of the kinetics of the opening, deactivation and closing of voltage dependent ion channels.

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The neuron is an excitable cell. It is capable of responding to a preliminary stimulation – that is a threshold stimulation -- via the generation of an action potential.  When it is not producing…

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