Smooth Muscle pp 299-311 | Cite as

Excitation of Nerves

  • Mollie E. Holman


In order to excite a nerve it is necessary to reduce its resting membrane potential to a critical level over a sufficiently large area of its membrane (Rushton, 1938). Once such a change in membrane potential has been achieved a further sequence of changes in membrane potential develops automatically in an “all-or-nothing” manner—an action potential. The electrical properties of nerve fibers are such that action potentials are conducted in both directions over their entire length. The critical level of membrane potential at which excitation and conduction occurs depends on many factors; some of these will be discussed here.


Membrane Potential Stimulate Electrode Myelinated Fiber Excitable Cell Unmyelinated Fiber 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mollie E. Holman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhysiologyMonash UniversityClaytonAustralia

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