# Activity 5: The Action Potential: Measuring Its Absolute and Relative Refractory Periods Yes Yes No No.

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1 3: Neurophysiology of Nerve Impulses (Part 2) Activity 5: The Action Potential: Measuring Its Absolute and Relative Refractory Periods Interval between stimuli Stimulus voltage (mv) Second action potential? Yes Yes No No Yes No No No Yes Yes Yes No 1.Define inactivation as it applies to a voltage-gated sodium channel. Voltage-gated sodium channels are inactivated when they no longer allow sodium to diffuse through. 2. Define the absolute refractory period The absolute refractory period is the time in which no action potential can be generated regardless of the strength of the stimulus. 3. How did the threshold for the second action potential change as you further decreased the interval between the stimuli? How well did the results compare with your prediction? The threshold for the second action potential increased as the interval between the stimuli decreased as predicted. 4. Why is it harder to generate a second action potential during the relative refractory period? A greater stimulus is required because voltage gated potassium channels that oppose depolarization are open during this time.

2 Activity 6: The Action Potential: Coding for Stimulus Intensity Stimulus voltage (mv) Stimulus duration ISI Action potential frequency (Hz) * 10* * 16.6* * 33.3* * The data in these columns are populated by student calculations. 1.Why are multiple action potentials generated in response to a long stimulus that is above threshold? The longer stimuli allow time for recovery and the above threshold allows the action potential to occur after the relative refractory period. 2. Why does the frequency of action potentials increase when the stimulus intensity increases? How well did the results compare with your prediction? Action potential can occur more frequently if there is a constant source of stimulation as long as the relative refractory period is reached. 3. How does threshold change during the relative refractory period? The threshold that must be achieved is higher than the original stimulus intensity during the relative refractory period. 4. What is the relationship between the interspike interval and the frequency of action potentials? The frequency of the action potentials is the reciprocal of the interspike interval with a conversion from milliseconds to seconds.

3 Activity 7: The Action Potential: Conduction Velocity Axon type Myelinatio n Stimulus voltage (mv) Distance from R1 to R2 (m) Time between action potentials at R1 and R2 Conduct ion velocity (m/sec) (sec) A fiber Heavy * 50* B fiber Light * 10* C fiber None * 1* * The data in these columns are populated by student calculations. 1. How did the conduction velocity in the B fiber compare with that in the A fiber? How well did the results compare with your prediction? The velocity of the B fiber was slower because it had a smaller diameter and less myelinated. 2. How did the conduction velocity in the C fiber compare with that in the B fiber? How well did the results compare with your prediction? The conduction velocity of the C fiber was slower because it has no myelination and a smaller diameter. 3. What is the effect of axon diameter on conduction velocity? The larger the axon diameter, the greater the conduction velocity. 4. What is the effect of the amount of myelination on conduction velocity? The greater the myelination, the greater the conduction velocity. 5. Why did the time between the stimulation and the action potential at R1 differ for each axon? The time between the stimulation and the action potential at R1 differed for each axon because the diameter and the degree of myelination varied. 6. Why did you need to change the timescale on the oscilloscope for each axon? This is necessary in order to see the action potentials. The velocity changes so when it get very slow you need a longer time scale.

4 Activity 8: Chemical Synaptic Transmission and Neurotransmitter Release (pp ) 1. When the stimulus intensity is increased, what changes: the number of synaptic vesicles released or the amount of neurotransmitter per vesicle? The number of synaptic vesicles released increases when the stimulus intensity increases. 2. What happened to the amount of neurotransmitter release when you switched from the control extracellular fluid to the extracellular fluid with no Ca 21? How well did the results compare with your prediction? Without calcium present, no neurotransmitter was released because the exocytosis of the synaptic vesicles is dependent upon calcium. 3. What happened to the amount of neurotransmitter release when you switched from the extracellular fluid with no Ca 21 to the extracellular fluid with low Ca 21? How well did the results compare with your prediction? When a small amount of calcium is added back, a small amount of synaptic vesicles are released. 4. How did neurotransmitter release in the Mg 2+ extracellular fluid compare to that in the control extracellular fluid? How well did the result compare with your prediction? The neurotransmitter release was less when magnesium was added. 5. How does Mg 21 block the effect of extracellular calcium on neurotransmitter release? When magnesium is added to the extracellular fluid it blocks the calcium channels and inhibits the release of neurotransmitter.

5 Activity 9: The Action Potential: Putting It All Together Peak value of response (mv) Stimulus Sensory neuron Receptor Axon Axon terminal Receptor Interneuron Axon None Weak Moderate Strong Why is the resting membrane potential the same value in both the sensory neuron and the interneuron? The resting membrane potential is the same value because this is the typical resting membrane potential regardless of the type of neuron. 2. Describe what happened when you applied a very weak stimulus to the sensory receptor. How well did the results compare with your prediction? When you applied a very weak stimulus to the sensory receptor, a small, depolarizing response occurred at R1, and no responses occurred at R2, R3, and R4. 3. Describe what happened when you applied a moderate stimulus to the sensory receptor. How well did the results compare with your prediction? When you applied a moderate stimulus to the sensory receptor, a larger, depolarizing response occurred at R1, and an action potential was generated at R2 and at R4. 4. Identify the type of membrane potential (graded receptor potential or action potential) that occurred at R1, R2, R3, and R4 when you applied a moderate stimulus. (View the response to the stimulus.) Action potentials occurred at R2 and R4 and graded receptor potentials occurred at R1 and R3. 5. Describe what happened when you applied a strong stimulus to the sensory receptor. How well did the results compare with your prediction? When you applied a strong stimulus to the sensory receptor, a large, depolarizing response occurred at R1 and R3, and action potentials occurred at R2 and R4.

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