Requirements for nervous signals

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HWC

• The function of neurons is to allow communication between cells, thereby maintaining homeostasis. • Electrical signals, called membrane potentials, travel along the membranes of the neurons. • Voltage variability and distance traveled determine the type of nervous signal. 1. Graded potentials • Short distance signals • Voltage diminishes with distance 2. Action Potentials • Long distance signals • Voltage does not diminish with distance • Electrical signals result from movements of charged ions across the membrane and are measured in millivolts (mV). • A change in ion concentration across the membrane results in a change in voltage (current) which then causes a signal. • Generation and maintenance of signals depends on two cell features: 1. Membrane ion transport proteins. 2. Resting membrane potentials.

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