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written by the Alila Medical Media
This 7-minute YouTube video takes a close-up, animated look at action potential propagation. It explores sodium/potassium concentration gradients across the cell membrane and how movement of these chemicals through gated channels can trigger a neuron to fire an electrical charge. The graphs of Voltage vs. Time are more complex than simpler animations, showing each step of rising and falling phase for an action potential. This video is part of a larger collection developed for use in biology, microbiology, and courses in Physics for Life Science majors. The videos can be easily adapted for use in high school courses as well.
Editor's Note: This video would work very nicely to support an exploration of feedback mechanisms essential to human life. It explicitly meets NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas relating to hierarchical systems in living organisms.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Electricity & Magnetism
- Electric Fields and Potential
= Electrostatic Potential and Potential Energy
Other Sciences
- Life Sciences
- High School
- Lower Undergraduate
- Informal Education
- Collection
- Audio/Visual
= Movie/Animation
Appropriate Courses Categories Ratings
- Conceptual Physics
- Algebra-based Physics
- AP Physics
- Activity
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Intended Users:
General Public
Access Rights:
Free access and
Available for purchase
Some resources published by Alila Medical Media are available on their website only via subscription or purchase. YouTube videos by Alila are subject to the Standard YouTube licensing and are available free access.
© 2016 Copyright Alila Medical Media
action potential, anatomy, axon, biology, dendrite, ligand channel, membrane potential, membrane transport, nerve signal, neuroscience
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created September 29, 2021 by Caroline Hall
Record Updated:
October 1, 2021 by Caroline Hall
Last Update
when Cataloged:
April 26, 2016

Next Generation Science Standards

Disciplinary Core Ideas (K-12)

Types of Interactions (PS2.B)
  • Attraction and repulsion between electric charges at the atomic scale explain the structure, properties, and transformations of matter, as well as the contact forces between material objects. (9-12)
Structure and Function (LS1.A)
  • Systems of specialized cells within organisms help them perform the essential functions of life. (9-12)
  • Multicellular organisms have a hierarchical structural organization, in which any one system is made up of numerous parts and is itself a component of the next level. (9-12)
  • Feedback mechanisms maintain a living system's internal conditions within certain limits and mediate behaviors, allowing it to remain alive and functional even as external conditions change within some range. Feedback mechanisms can encourage (through positive feedback) or discourage (negative feedback) what is going on inside the living system. (9-12)
Information Processing (LS1.D)
  • Each sense receptor responds to different inputs (electromagnetic, mechanical, chemical), transmitting them as signals that travel along nerve cells to the brain. The signals are then processed in the brain, resulting in immediate behaviors or memories. (6-8)

Crosscutting Concepts (K-12)

Cause and Effect (K-12)
  • Cause and effect relationships can be suggested and predicted for complex natural and human designed systems by examining what is known about smaller scale mechanisms within the system. (9-12)
Structure and Function (K-12)
  • The functions and properties of natural and designed objects and systems can be inferred from their overall structure, the way their components are shaped and used, and the molecular substructures of its various materials. (9-12)
Stability and Change (2-12)
  • Feedback (negative or positive) can stabilize or destabilize a system. (9-12)
Scientific Knowledge Assumes an Order and Consistency in Natural Systems (1-12)
  • Science assumes the universe is a vast single system in which basic laws are consistent. (9-12)
ComPADRE is beta testing Citation Styles!

Record Link
AIP Format
Alila Medical Media, (2016), WWW Document, (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iBDXOt_uHTQ).
Alila Medical Media, Action Potential in Neurons: Alila Medical Media, (2016), <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iBDXOt_uHTQ>.
APA Format
Alila Medical Media. (2016, April 26). Action Potential in Neurons: Alila Medical Media. Retrieved October 15, 2021, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iBDXOt_uHTQ
Chicago Format
Alila Medical Media. Action Potential in Neurons: Alila Medical Media. April 26, 2016. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iBDXOt_uHTQ (accessed 15 October 2021).
MLA Format
Alila Medical Media. Action Potential in Neurons: Alila Medical Media. 2016. 26 Apr. 2016. 15 Oct. 2021 <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iBDXOt_uHTQ>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Author = "Alila Medical Media", Title = {Action Potential in Neurons: Alila Medical Media}, Volume = {2021}, Number = {15 October 2021}, Month = {April 26, 2016}, Year = {2016} }
Refer Export Format

%Q Alila Medical Media %T Action Potential in Neurons: Alila Medical Media %D April 26, 2016 %U https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iBDXOt_uHTQ %O text/html

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source %A Alila Medical Media, %D April 26, 2016 %T Action Potential in Neurons: Alila Medical Media %V 2021 %N 15 October 2021 %8 April 26, 2016 %9 text/html %U https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iBDXOt_uHTQ

Disclaimer: ComPADRE offers citation styles as a guide only. We cannot offer interpretations about citations as this is an automated procedure. Please refer to the style manuals in the Citation Source Information area for clarifications.

Citation Source Information

The AIP Style presented is based on information from the AIP Style Manual.

The APA Style presented is based on information from APA Style.org: Electronic References.

The Chicago Style presented is based on information from Examples of Chicago-Style Documentation.

The MLA Style presented is based on information from the MLA FAQ.

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