007 What is an Action Potential

007 What is an Action Potential

What is an Action Potential?

That’s the question I’m answering in todays Interactive Biology Episode. Watch the video above to find out ;)

This is the first in my new video format and I really hope you enjoy it.

Once you have finished watching the video, go ahead and leave your comments below.

If you have any questions, that would be the place to ask them.

- Leslie Samuel

Transcript Of Today’s Video

Welcome to another episode of Interactive Biology TV. My name is Leslie Samuel. In this video, I’m going to be answering one basic question: What is an action potential? You’re probably going to notice that it’s a little different than the 6 episodes that I’ve done before. And the 2 main differences that you’re going to notice are:

  1. I no longer call it BioVid. The reason for that is “Biovid” doesn’t really tell what this is all about. I’ve changed it to Interactive Biology TV, because it’s going to be interactive, it’s going to be about biology, and it’s going to be a video. So from now on, you’re going to hear me say “Interactive Biology TV” as opposed to “BioVid.”
  2. You’re going to notice that I’m on camera this time, and that’s a little different because in the past, I’ve done slides and animations and so on. The reason I’m making this change is basically because I wanted to do something that I can produce much quickly. In the last year, I only made 6 episodes, and I want to be doing episodes on a regular basis and this is just easier for me to produce and I can put together a relatively professional-quality video in a short period of time.

I hope you enjoy this new format. Please let me know in the comments below, and if you have questions or comments about it, you can just do that. It’s going to be relatively laid-back and I’m just going to be talking to you about these different concepts.

So, let’s get into the content for today. Today, I’m answering the question “What is an action potential?” If you’ve looked at any of the previous episodes, you’ve seen that I’ve given an introduction to the nervous system and to neurons. That introduction to neurons basically comes right before this in terms of understanding the concepts, the different parts of the neuron.

Now, the main part of the neuron that we’re going to be talking about today is the axon. I have a very amazing device here that I’m going to be using to illustrate that. The axon is the part that sends the signal. A signal starts in the soma, there’s processing that happens in the soma, and we’re going to talk about that later on. It sends a signal via the axon, to the ends of the axon, the axon terminals, and then that signal can basically go to the next neuron.

How I’m going to illustrate this is really simple. If someone touches your hand, you feel it. And the reason you feel it is because there are signals that start at that point, and the signals go to your spinal cord, and then up to your brain. These are electrical signals that happen relatively quickly, so that your brain can interpret that stimulation, and your brain tells you “Okay, someone is touching you.”

That is an action potential. You can call it an action potential, you can also call it a nerve impulse, but it’s basically that electrical signal that goes from that stimulation point all the way to the brain. And these signals are going on throughout the body, doing a bunch of different things, and we’re going to talk about that.

So, here we have my handy-dandy iPhone 4. I’m going to turn it on. And I have my earbuds, I’m going to put these on. I’m assuming you guys know how this works, but the iPhone 4 is an amazing device. It has built-in an iPod, and I’m going to assume you know what an iPod is. You know what, I’m going to tell you what an iPod is, just for some strange reason you don’t know what an that is. It’s an MP3 player that allows you to play music and audio books and a whole bunch of other stuff.

Anyhow, I’m going to stimulate this iPhone, and it’s going to send an electrical signal via this cable to the earbuds, and we’re going to assume as if it’s going to my brain. And it is going to my brain. So, here we have a cable sending signals, and then there can be a response. The brain can interpret that stimulation. Okay, so I’m going to press Play, and this is me stimulating. And as soon as I press Play, I can hear music. I can dance to the music, I can do a whole bunch of stuff. Let me stop that for now.

But basically, here we have that wire, and these are the axons of the neurons sending signals to the brain, to different parts of the body. It’s basically how the nervous system communicates with the different cells and organs and the glands. So, really simple, the action potential is that signal that goes through the axons along the nerves and basically takes a signal from one place to another place, whether that’s from the brain to my hand that pulls away, whether it’s from the stimulation point all the way to my brain.

I hope that makes sense for you. That’s basically what an action potential is. If you have any questions, comments, leave it below in the comments field. I’d be happy to follow up and answer your questions, or even make a video about it. That’s it for this episode, and I’ll see you on the next one.

257 comments
slamy85
slamy85

Thank you so much for this video. I actually understand the concept much better.

Mikail Adam
Mikail Adam

thanks Mr Leslie,you made me understanding physiology easier than before.you're such a great guy.thanks a lot

bheemanna
bheemanna

very good explination thank u sir it is most understandable

spetruck1
spetruck1

horrible. I don't care what an ipod is.

Katie Bowman
Katie Bowman

Video was helpful for me. Explained things clearly. Thank You

RICHARD SANKAR
RICHARD SANKAR

audio only working in one ear bud = action potential only travels through one of the axon terminals xD

littleismail
littleismail

. I have to train my mind to determine how I will interpret the signals I am receiving.

Dang Shu
Dang Shu

This is a really simple video. You do not go through the sodium/potassium pumps, depolarization, refractory period nor resting state. This are core topics that average biology students would learn so please make videos about these.

rkagrawal75
rkagrawal75

How can I find the list or Playlist of related topic video in series so that i can move back and forth

Maggie Tsui
Maggie Tsui

THANK YOUUU FOR THE VIDEOO OMGGG it is so helpful :) i always like videos like this ^^ please keep making more videosss!!!! :D :D :D

Chera Gillard
Chera Gillard

Thank you so much for making these videos, they are so helpful! Wish you were my real bio teacher :)

Sandile Mntambo
Sandile Mntambo

hey bra i jst wanted to thank u for your videos they are really helpful

sreenath851
sreenath851

all videos have been very interesting........keep up the good work frnd...cld u send me a video of the receptors of the human body.thank u

David Porter
David Porter

Also, mine. It is only coming through on one channel. So if you have head phones or stereo speakers it should come through on one channel.

Thomas Cho
Thomas Cho

the sound comes out only on the left side of my earphone

Mexuverse San
Mexuverse San

I have sound on this video but it's blurred, like only the bass is on... I'm watching a video under water, awesome!

teenagemania
teenagemania

Its nt working here too... all the other youtube sound are working... only ur vid

Tipsjebris
Tipsjebris

I love your videos. Thank you so much, you totally helped me through my veterinary medicine examns.

thewakeboarder
thewakeboarder

Its just mono on my headphones... only the left ear works. Kind of Annoying, fix if if you can. but otherwise still awesome videos.

vladbio
vladbio

Great channel. Great videos. I waswondering if this is the place to ask about LTP, NT, and in general some issues in neurophysiology.

carlondutyrock
carlondutyrock

who are the 46 dumb idiots who would dislike this video!

Nikki Jackson
Nikki Jackson

Thank you so much! Need more teachers like you. Love the easy to understand example.

charles jimingo
charles jimingo

what will happen if the message does'nt sent to the brain

TTerminatorr
TTerminatorr

Great videos, love how your aim is purely to teach instead of adding to much unnecessary information. I'm subscribed well done. And Thank you.

Kym Adair
Kym Adair

So much easyer to understand ty!!!!!!!!

Lazoo23
Lazoo23

My lecturer's notes and explanations are a mess, missing basic information and the notes not even referring to the meanings of some acronyms she uses. With my exam around the corner and none of what my lecturer says making sense i'm in a lot of trouble. Fortunately a friend pointed me to your videos which is really helping me out a lot and I could definitely use any help I can get. I really appreciate these videos as they're of tremendous help. Thanks a lot!

acash93
acash93

Youtube should make a university using your videos. They explain way better than my lecturer and in less time as well! Thank you very much.

Lora G
Lora G

Oh my gosh, I seriously want to take you home in my pocket! My husband might not mind!

nieves carter
nieves carter

How rude of you! You should be ashamed of yourself :( If you don't like it... move on!

I Em Pac
I Em Pac

why cant you just shut the fuck up bro and start talking, gosh... what is action potential

mydee12
mydee12

Does thought create an action potential?

Kim Ly
Kim Ly

I love you, you are the best. All your lectures are very clear to me :) You have a way to make your lectures very easy to understand. Thank you

Mamta Simon
Mamta Simon

wow ..so intrestin nd easy way to understnd action potential......or...music potential

Tahucha Jean
Tahucha Jean

You...just made me understand a 90 minute class lecture...in 5 and a half minutes. O...M...G. My mind is blown.

unitelanka
unitelanka

audio is working but it's in mono, just in my left speaker.

jhercules26
jhercules26

I would never in my life subscribe to a biology channel until I found you. Your methods or describing information is so entertaining to the point where I understood it! Thank you so much.

jankyjay253
jankyjay253

Sounds work for me. Sounds like it's only coming out of the left speaker, though.