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Membrane Potential and Action Potential

Membrane Potential and Action Potential

Author: Nathan Lampson
Description:

This lesson will describe how the differences in concentrations of ions across a plasma membrane set the stage for a nerve impulse.

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Tutorial
Terms to Know
Action Potential

A nerve impulse.

Input Zone

The region of a neuron where signals enter.

Output Zone

The part of the neuron that consists of the axon endings, where signals are sent on to another neuron or to a gland or muscle cell.

Resting Membrane Potential

The difference in the charge across a cell membrane.  

Resting Potential

The steady voltage difference that occurs across a neuron’s membrane when it is not being stimulated.

Sodium Potassium Pump

A protein embedded in the plasma membrane that actively transports sodium and potassium against their concentration gradients.

Threshold

The minimum voltage shift across a membrane required for an action potential to take place.

Trigger Zone

The part of the neuron located at the base of the cell body that initiates action potentials.