Biology Neurophysiology Handout

Electrical Activity of Neurons
Start the Click and Learn at As you read through the
slides and watch the animations and videos, answer the following questions. Be sure to read each slide, even if there
aren’t questions from that slide.
Slide 1:
1. How many neurons are shown in the circuit in this animation? (select one)

One neuron.
Two neurons.
Three neurons.
Four neurons.
Unable to answer

2. What are represented by the white “flashes” that move along the neurons?

Click or tap here to enter text.

3. Information moves from one neuron to another across a structure called the Click or tap here to enter text.
4. Two types of synapses exist:

Electrical synapses pass electrical signals directly between the cytoplasm of two cells.
Chemical synapses pass chemical signals called neurotransmitters from one cell to another across an
extracellular space called the synaptic cleft.

What kind of synapses are shown in this animation? (select one)

Only electrical synapses.
Only chemical synapses.
Both electrical and
chemical synapses

5. Information transfer at the type of synapse shown in this animation occurs (select one):

in a single direction from dendrite to
back-and-forth between dendrite
and synapticterminal.
in a single direction from synaptic
terminal to dendrite.

Self-paced activity Student Handout Neurophysiology
7. What triggers calcium entry into the synaptic terminal?

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8. Describe the role of calcium in information transfer from one neuron to another across the synapse in this

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9. Chemicals called chelators can be introduced to the body experimentally to bind specific ions and remove
these ions from solution. For example, BAPTA is a calcium-specific chelator that binds to and prevents normal
calcium functioning. Predict the outcomes upon neurotransmission in the synapses of this animation
immediately following the injection of BAPTA into the structures/regions below and
justify your answers.

Synaptic terminal Click or tap here to enter text.
Dendrite Click or tap here to enter text.
Extracellular fluid Click or tap here to enter text.

10. According to the animation, what happens to neurotransmitters that are released from the synaptic terminal?

Click or tap here to enter text.

Slide 2:
11. Model organisms are species that have been widely studied and are used in neuroscience research because
they can be kept in a laboratory setting, have specific experimental advantages, and the knowledge gained
from studies of these organisms provides insight into the biological processes of other species. Thus, studies of
model organisms with simpler nervous systems can provide insight into the function of more complex nervous
systems with a greater number of neurons and synapses.
In this activity,
Aplysia, a marine mollusk commonly referred to as a “sea slug,” is used as a model organism to
study neuronal activity. Based on the information above, and from
slide 2, which of the following statements
about studies of the electrical activity of
Aplysia neurons is/are correct?

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