MYTUTOR SUBJECT ANSWERS

290 views

How are action potentials transmitted?

Information passes through nerves rapidly in the form of action potentials, or transient changes in voltage across the nerve cell membrane. Nerve cells, or neurons, are able to transmit action potentials thanks to specific ion channels in their membranes. At rest, the voltage across the membrane, or 'resting potential', is close to -70mV. At the start of an action potential, sodium channels in the membrane open, and positively charged sodium ions flow into the neuron, depolarising the membrane by driving the potential up to 30mV or higher. Slower-opening potassium channels allow potassium ions to flow out of the neuron, driven by the increase in charge inside due to the buildup of sodium. The efflux of potassium decreases membrane potential (hyperpolarises) to slightly below resting potential, reffered to as an 'overshoot'. Finally, resting potential is restored by the sodium-potassium pump, which uses energy from the breakdown of ATP to exchange sodium inside the cell for potassium outside. This sequence of events continues along the neuron axon as depolarisation of one segment causes sodium channels to open in the adjacent segment and the process to restart.

Kilda C. GCSE Chemistry tutor, GCSE Biology tutor, GCSE Maths tutor, ...

8 months ago

Answered by Kilda, a GCSE Biology tutor with MyTutor


Still stuck? Get one-to-one help from a personally interviewed subject specialist

234 SUBJECT SPECIALISTS

£18 /hr

Tom T.

Degree: Natural Sciences (Masters) - Durham University

Subjects offered: Biology, Science+ 4 more

Biology
Science
Physics
Maths
Further Mathematics
Chemistry

“About Me: I am a student at Durham University studying Natural Sciences, specifically Maths and Chemistry. I have always been keen to help others understand key scientific and mathematical concepts and I hope to be able to do the same...”

£30 /hr

Beth S.

Degree: Biosciences (Masters) - Durham University

Subjects offered: Biology, Chemistry

Biology
Chemistry

“Hi, I'm Beth and I'm a first year undergraduate at Durham University studying Biosciences! I have an interest in all things science and would love to share my passion and understanding with others. I like to think I can take ideas from...”

MyTutor guarantee

£22 /hr

Nicolo G.

Degree: BSc Government and Economics (Bachelors) - LSE University

Subjects offered: Biology, Maths+ 2 more

Biology
Maths
History
Economics

“I am currently a student of economics and government at the London School of Economics. I developed a passion for economics during my IB diploma studies and I hope I will be able to instill that passion in you as well. I am very patien...”

About the author

Kilda C.

Currently unavailable: for regular students

Degree: Medicine (Bachelors) - Oxford, New College University

Subjects offered: Biology, Physics+ 2 more

Biology
Physics
Maths
Chemistry

“Hello! I'm Kilda, I come from Belgium and I'm about to start my third year readingMedicine at the University of Oxford. I have been tutoring Science, Maths, Piano and Music Theory since 2011. When I am tutoring, or trying to learn som...”

You may also like...

Posts by Kilda

How are action potentials transmitted?

How are single-gene disorders inherited?

Other GCSE Biology questions

Please explain Mitosis

What is homeostasis?

Describe the structure of DNA and where it is found inside a human cell

What is the difference between a gene, a chromosome and DNA?

View GCSE Biology tutors

Cookies:

We use cookies to improve our service. By continuing to use this website, we'll assume that you're OK with this. Dismiss

mtw:mercury1:status:ok