Chapter 3 Flashcards

conduction velocity
The speed at which an action potential is propagated along an axon.
membrane conductance
The reciprocal of membrane resistance. Changes in membrane conductance result from, and are used to describe, the opening or closing of ion channels.
myelin
The multilaminated wrapping around many axons formed by oligodendrocytes or Schwann cells.
myelination
Process by which glial cells (oligodendrocytes or Schwann cells) wrap around axons to form multiple layers of glial cell membrane, thus insulating the axonal membrane and increasing conduction velocity.
nodes of Ranvier
Periodic gaps in the myelination of axons where action potentials are generated.
refractory period
The brief period after the generation of an action potential during which a second action potential is difficult or impossible to elicit.
saltatory conduction
Mechanism of action potential propagation in myelinated axons; so named because action potentials "jump" from one node of Ranvier to the next due to generation of action potentials only at these sites.
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