Week 2

The second week of the courses started on Monday with a theoretical lecture on action potentials and synaptic transmissions. During the first part of the class, the questions in Presemo from the previous lecture were addressed. I find this methodology to be quite interesting, as it is useful in order to refresh previous topics.

After the questions from the previous lecture were answered, the first topic to be addressed was the neuron membrane, starting with how ion-channels and diffusion work. Then, the sodium-potassium pumps were explained.

Following a detailed explanation of the neuron membrane operation, the action potentials were presented. In particular, its phases (rising phase, falling phase and undershoot), experimental depolarization; and activation, inactivation and deactivation of sodium channels.

Lastly, the propagation of action potentials was explained, paying special attention to the effect of myelin in the neuron axon.

Finally, on Tuesday the first exercise lesson took place. In it, the following topics were addressed: structure of neurons and glia, action potential phases, conduction velocity of action potentials and equilibrium potential. In this lesson, I found particularly interesting the last exercise, which consisted in deriving the Nernst equation from the Boltzmann equation and calculating the equilibrium potential for calcium in a neuron.

By Diego Milardovich


Posted by Ville Ahtiainen

About Ville Ahtiainen

Student at Aalto University School of Electrical Engineering
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