Action Potentials And Its Effects On The Body

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Neurons are specialized cells that communicate through electrical signals throughout the body. Nerves are made up of neurons and are made of bundles of nerve fibers. In previous experiments, action potentials were observed. Action potentials are an all or nothing response and do not deteriorate as it travels down the length of the nerve. Action potentials are directed by voltage-gate pumps. One type of action potential is a compound action potential (CAP). CAP is an artificial response of a nerve when all the axons are simultaneously electrical stimulated. It is known that individual action potentials are voltage-dependent therefore it elicits an all-or-nothing response, but CAP are graded potentials. The amplitude of the CAP increases as the stimulus voltage increases. Each axon has its own threshold, so as the stimulus voltage increases it integrates more axons thus creating a larger response. For the experiment the sciatic nerve of an African Clawed Frog was examined. The sciatic nerve was used because it is the largest nerve in the body. The specimen was used because frogs are active animals with a large and testable sciatic nerve. By using the sciatic nerve, the threshold voltage, conduction velocity, strength-duration curves, refractory periods, and monophasic action potential can be determined and examined. The experiment should provide a better understanding of compound action potentials. The overall purpose of the experiment was to test the effects of the stimulus

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