Nervous System


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  • Joe was eating s'mores during his camping trip.
  • The stick caught on fire and burned Joe's hand. Joe immediately dropped the stick after he got burned.
  • Dendrites in the sensory neurons in Joe's hand received impulses after making contact with the fire. The impulse is transmitted through the neuron by traveling down the axon on the nodes of Ranvier. The nodes of Ranvier are the areas between the myelin on the axon.
  • Before Joe's hand got burned, the neuron had a resting potential of about -70 mv. There was a higher concentration of sodium ions outside of the neuron and the opposite for potassium ions. When there is an action potential from a stimulus, the membrane depolarizes and sodium ions diffuse into the cell through channels. Repolarization then occurs and potassium ions exit the cell, causing the membrane potential to return to -70 mv. Sodium ions are pumped out of the cell by a sodium-potassium pump.
  • When the action potential reaches the axon terminal, neurotransmitters are released at the synapse. The synapse is the location in which the impulse is transmitted from the presynaptic neuron to the postsynaptic neuron.
  • The impulses eventually travel to the central nervous system and then to motor neurons, which send signals to cause muscles in Joe's arm to contract and pull his hand away from the hot stick.
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