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FAQ: What happens when a resting neuron’s membrane depolarizes?

What does it mean when a membrane is depolarized?

Hyperpolarization is when the membrane potential becomes more negative at a particular spot on the neuron’s membrane, while depolarization is when the membrane potential becomes less negative (more positive). The opening of channels that let positive ions flow into the cell can cause depolarization.

What happens to restore the resting potential after depolarization?

Depolarization is caused by Na+ ions coming into the cell through gated sodium channels. To restore the resting potential (repolarize), K+ flows out via gated potassium channels. Repolarization (return to resting potential) occurs when the K (potassium) channels open and allow K ions to go back out of the cell.

What does a neuron’s resting membrane potential reflect?

Membrane potential is a property of all cells & reflects a difference in charge on either side of the cell membrane. Normally, cells are net negative inside the cell to result in a negative resting membrane potential. In neurons, the action potential moves down the axon as a nerve impulse.

What occurs during depolarization of an axon?

The animation below illustrates how the flow of positively charged ions into the axon leads the axon to become positively charged relative to the outside. With each positively charged sodium ion that enters the axon, another positive charge is inside and one fewer negative charge is outside the axon.

What triggers depolarization?

Neurons can undergo depolarization in response to a number of stimuli such as heat, chemical, light, electrical or physical stimulus. These stimuli generate a positive potential inside the neurons. When the positive potential becomes greater than the threshold potential, it causes the opening of sodium channels.

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What is difference between depolarization and repolarization?

The main difference between depolarization and repolarization is that the depolarization is the loss of resting membrane potential due to the alteration of the polarization of cell membrane whereas repolarization is the restoration of the resting membrane potential after each depolarization event.

What is responsible for restoring the resting membrane potential?

Sodium-potassium pumps move two potassium ions inside the cell as three sodium ions are pumped out to maintain the negatively-charged membrane inside the cell; this helps maintain the resting potential.

What is needed to return a membrane to its resting membrane potential?

To return to the resting potential from the undershoot, which went to the equilibrium potential of K+, the cell must reset. The inactivation plug is removed from the Na+ voltage-gated channels, and the activation gate is closed. The K+ voltage dependent channels close, stopping the flow of K+ out of the cell.

What is the major role of the Na +- K+ pump in maintaining the resting membrane potential?

What is the major role of the Na+-K+ pump in maintaining the resting membrane potential? K+ ions can diffuse across the membrane more easily than Na+ ions. Imagine you changed the concentration of K+ outside a neuron such that the resting membrane potential changed to -80 mV (from the normal resting value of -70 mV).

Why does the resting membrane potential show negative charge and not positive?

The difference in the number of positively charged potassium ions (K+) inside and outside the cell dominates the resting membrane potential (Figure 2). The negative charge within the cell is created by the cell membrane being more permeable to potassium ion movement than sodium ion movement.

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What causes negative resting membrane potential?

This is important because the increased flow of positively charged potassium ions out of the cell (relative to the rate of Na+ movement into the cell) results in a net negative charge inside the cell; the negative sign in the resting membrane potential represents the negative environment inside the cell relative to the

Is action potential dependent on stimulus intensity?

In reality, the ability of a neuron to fire an action potential does not only depend on stimulus strength, it also depends on stimulus duration. This is because the neuron’s membrane potential has the ability to integrate its inputs over time, until it reaches the threshold potential to fire an action potential.

Is depolarization negative or positive?

Action potential in a neuron, showing depolarization, in which the cell’s internal charge becomes less negative (more positive), and repolarization, where the internal charge returns to a more negative value.

What are the 6 steps of action potential?

An action potential has several phases; hypopolarization, depolarization, overshoot, repolarization and hyperpolarization. Hypopolarization is the initial increase of the membrane potential to the value of the threshold potential.

Is depolarization excitatory or inhibitory?

This depolarization is called an excitatory postsynaptic potential (EPSP) and makes the postsynaptic neuron more likely to fire an action potential. Release of neurotransmitter at inhibitory synapses causes inhibitory postsynaptic potentials (IPSPs), a hyperpolarization of the presynaptic membrane.

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