Neuroscience

Balancing brain cell activity

To process information in our brains, nerve cells produce brief electrical impulses, called action potentials, triggered from one highly specialized region. Research from the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience, together ...

Neuroscience

Fighting hypertension through electrical impulses

Electrical impulses applied to a particular branch of the vagus nerve could be used in the future to reduce complications of arterial hypertension. These are the results of a research conducted, on animal models, by the Department ...

Neuroscience

Myelin optimizes information processing in the brain

In a conversation, we can easily understand and distinguish individual words. In the brain, the temporal structure of speech with its rapid succession of sounds and pauses and its characteristic rhythm is encoded by electrical ...

Neuroscience

Testing the fluorescent proteins that light up the brain

Neurons are cells in your brain. Shaped like little stars, they flicker and fire off signals to each other. The signals travel up and down the long tendrils, called dendrites, extending out from each point of a neuron's star-shaped ...

Neuroscience

New mechanism affecting nerve impulses discovered

Researchers at Linköping University, Sweden, have discovered a new mechanism by which substances can open a certain type of ion channel and thereby regulate nerve impulses. The study, published in the scientific journal ...

Neuroscience

Why myelinated mammalian nerves are fast and allow high frequency

University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers, for the first time ever, have achieved patch-clamp studies of an elusive part of mammalian myelinated nerves called the Nodes of Ranvier. At the nodes, they found unexpected ...

Neuroscience

Video: Scientists visualize pain's pathway

The lab of Stephen Waxman, Bridget M. Flaherty Professor of Neurology and of Neuroscience, has identified the key role of sodium channels arrayed on nerve cells in experience of pain.

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Action potential

An action potential (or nerve impulse) is a transient alteration of the transmembrane voltage (or membrane potential) across an excitable membrane generated by the activity of voltage-gated ion channels embedded in the membrane. Action potentials play multiple roles in several types of excitable cells such as neurons, myocytes, and electrocytes. The best known action potentials are pulse-like waves of voltage that travel along axons of neurons.

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