Chapter

Subthreshold Membrane Phenomena

Jaakko Malmivuo

in Bioelectromagnetism

Published in print October 1995 | ISBN: 9780195058239
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199847839 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195058239.003.0003
Subthreshold Membrane Phenomena

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This chapter describes the physiological basis of the resting voltage and the subthreshold response of an axon to electric stimuli from a quantitative perspective. The membrane plays an important role in establishing the resting and active electric properties of an excitable cell, through its regulation of the movement of ions between the extracellular and intracellular spaces. The word ion (Greek for “that which goes”) was introduced by Faraday (1834). The ease with which an ion crosses the membrane, namely the membrane permeability, differs among ion species; this selective permeability will be seen to have important physiological consequences. Activation of a cell affects its behavior by altering these permeabilities.

Keywords: axon; electric stimuli; ions; extracellular spaces; membrane permeability; selective permeability

Chapter.  10308 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuroscience

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