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Updated Biology Courses cardella

General Biology
Prof. Bryan Cardella, M.Ed.

ap biology eaton

AP Biology 
Dr. Carleen Eaton, M.D.

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How Nerves Work

  • The differences in ion distribution across a membrane results in a voltage difference (or potential) across the membranes of all cells.

  • The sodium/potassium pumps and the differential permeabilities of ion channels in the membrane create a concentration of sodium ions that is higher on the outside of the membrane and a concentration of potassium ions that is higher on the inside of the membrane.

  • Some signals can produce ion flow changes in a neuron. In this Lesson, you’ll learn about a unique feature of neurons, called the action potential, that results from ion flow changes.

  • Action potentials cause the release of chemical messengers from the neurons. Nerve gases and many drugs interfere with these chemical messengers.