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the process by which a brief electical impulse transmitts information along the axon of a neuron

action potential

a brief electrical pulse that transmits information along the axon of a neuron

resting potential

state in which a neuron is prepared to activate and communicate it's message if it receives sufficient stimulation; where the inside of the neuron is -70mV more negative than the outside


the level or point at which the action potential will occur; about -40mV inside the neuron


when the neural membranes of the axon become open to Na+ ions, making the inside charge positive


when the K+ ions leave the inside of the axon, making the inside charge negative

Na+ - K+ pump

restores the neuron to resting potential; placing Na+ ions outside and K+ ions back inside

absolute refractory period

neuron cannot fire another action potential regardless of stimulation

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