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BioFlix: How Neurons Work

by Pearson
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This baseball player springs into action his nervous system rapidly processing information in a network of nerve cells, or neurons Each neuron receives input from one or more cells In response the neuron may generate an electrical signal known as an action potential that travels down the length of the axon Let's take a close look at the plasma membrane of an axon Even without an action potential the axon is a busy place with many ions moving across its membrane Much of this ion movement is driven by the sodium-potassium pump Using energy from ATP sodium-potassium pumps actively transport sodium ions out of the cell and potassium ions in creating an uneven distribution of charge across the membrane Some potassium channels are open all the time allowing potassium ions to leave the cell As a result of these ion movements the inside of the cell is negative relative to the outside this condition is called the resting potential
This baseball player springs into action his nervous system rapidly processing information in a network of nerve cells, or neurons Each neuron receives input from one or more cells In response the neuron may generate an electrical signal known as an action potential that travels down the length of the axon Let's take a close look at the plasma membrane of an axon Even without an action potential the axon is a busy place with many ions moving across its membrane Much of this ion movement is driven by the sodium-potassium pump Using energy from ATP sodium-potassium pumps actively transport sodium ions out of the cell and potassium ions in creating an uneven distribution of charge across the membrane Some potassium channels are open all the time allowing potassium ions to leave the cell As a result of these ion movements the inside of the cell is negative relative to the outside this condition is called the resting potential