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published by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Available Languages: English, Spanish
This interactive tutorial from Howard Hughes Medical Institute explores how neurons generate action potentials and how scientists measure neuronal activity using microelectrodes. The tutorial shows a virtual electrode inserted into a single sensory neuron of an "aplysia", a sea slug organism. As the electrode applies voltage, watch the graphs of Action Potential vs. Time for both the transmitting sensory neuron and a receiving nearby motor neuron. A certain threshold is required to trigger an action potential in the receiving motor neuron; if the threshold is not met, the electrical signal will not propagate from one neuron to the next. The tutorial also illustrates how the neurotransmitter seratonin acts to enhance action potential.

HHMI Biointeractives were developed to provide highly focused, short activities that cover 1-2 key ideas. Online tools make it easy to mix and match interactives to meet specific course goals. All materials are free.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education Practices
- Active Learning
= Modeling
Electricity & Magnetism
- Electric Fields and Potential
Other Sciences
- Life Sciences
- High School
- Lower Undergraduate
- Upper Undergraduate
- Instructional Material
= Activity
= Interactive Simulation
- Audio/Visual
= Movie/Animation
Appropriate Courses Categories Ratings
- Conceptual Physics
- Algebra-based Physics
- AP Physics
- Activity
- New teachers
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Intended Users:
Learner
Educator
General Public
Format:
text/html
Access Rights:
Free access
License:
This material is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 license. Each interactive resource contains information regarding specific copyright, which may belong to individuals.
Rights Holder:
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Keywords:
biology, neuroscience, sensory neuron, synapse, synaptic potential, voltage
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created October 4, 2021 by Caroline Hall
Record Updated:
October 4, 2021 by Caroline Hall
Last Update
when Cataloged:
January 31, 2011

Next Generation Science Standards

Disciplinary Core Ideas (K-12)

Structure and Properties of Matter (PS1.A)
  • The structure and interactions of matter at the bulk scale are determined by electrical forces within and between atoms. (9-12)
Structure and Function (LS1.A)
  • 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)

Patterns (K-12)
  • Different patterns may be observed at each of the scales at which a system is studied and can provide evidence for causality in explanations of phenomena. (9-12)
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)
Systems and System Models (K-12)
  • Models (e.g., physical, mathematical, computer models) can be used to simulate systems and interactions—including energy, matter, and information flows—within and between systems at different scales. (9-12)
Stability and Change (2-12)
  • Change and rates of change can be quantified and modeled over very short or very long periods of time. Some system changes are irreversible. (9-12)

NGSS Science and Engineering Practices (K-12)

Developing and Using Models (K-12)
  • Modeling in 9–12 builds on K–8 and progresses to using, synthesizing, and developing models to predict and show relationships among variables between systems and their components in the natural and designed worlds. (9-12)
    • Use a model to predict the relationships between systems or between components of a system. (9-12)
    • Use a model based on evidence to illustrate the relationships between systems or between components of a system. (9-12)

NGSS Nature of Science Standards (K-12)

Developing and Using Models (K-12)
  • Modeling in 9–12 builds on K–8 and progresses to using, synthesizing, and developing models to predict and show relationships among variables between systems and their components in the natural and designed worlds. (9-12)
ComPADRE is beta testing Citation Styles!

Record Link
AIP Format
(Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Chevy Chase, 2011), WWW Document, (https://media.hhmi.org/biointeractive/click/Neuron_Activity/13.html).
AJP/PRST-PER
HHMI Biointeractive: Electrical Activity of Neurons, (Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Chevy Chase, 2011), <https://media.hhmi.org/biointeractive/click/Neuron_Activity/13.html>.
APA Format
HHMI Biointeractive: Electrical Activity of Neurons. (2011, January 31). Retrieved October 16, 2021, from Howard Hughes Medical Institute: https://media.hhmi.org/biointeractive/click/Neuron_Activity/13.html
Chicago Format
Howard Hughes Medical Institute. HHMI Biointeractive: Electrical Activity of Neurons. Chevy Chase: Howard Hughes Medical Institute, January 31, 2011. https://media.hhmi.org/biointeractive/click/Neuron_Activity/13.html (accessed 16 October 2021).
MLA Format
HHMI Biointeractive: Electrical Activity of Neurons. Chevy Chase: Howard Hughes Medical Institute, 2011. 31 Jan. 2011. 16 Oct. 2021 <https://media.hhmi.org/biointeractive/click/Neuron_Activity/13.html>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Title = {HHMI Biointeractive: Electrical Activity of Neurons}, Publisher = {Howard Hughes Medical Institute}, Volume = {2021}, Number = {16 October 2021}, Month = {January 31, 2011}, Year = {2011} }
Refer Export Format

%T HHMI Biointeractive: Electrical Activity of Neurons %D January 31, 2011 %I Howard Hughes Medical Institute %C Chevy Chase %U https://media.hhmi.org/biointeractive/click/Neuron_Activity/13.html %O text/html

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source %D January 31, 2011 %T HHMI Biointeractive: Electrical Activity of Neurons %I Howard Hughes Medical Institute %V 2021 %N 16 October 2021 %8 January 31, 2011 %9 text/html %U https://media.hhmi.org/biointeractive/click/Neuron_Activity/13.html


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

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