Caption: The operation of gated channels in a nerve cell's membrane to facilitate the six phases of an action potential. The action potential can be divided into six phases. The first phase is the resting potential phase prior to depolarization, and is characterized by little ion flux. The second phase of an action potential is the threshold phase. This occurs as a threshold stimulus arrives at the axon hillock. Once threshold level is obtained, the activation gate on voltage gated sodium channels opens rapidly, and sodium influx occurs, rapidly depolarizing the cell membrane. This is known as the rising phase of an action potential. At about positive 30 millivolts, inactivation gates on voltage-gated sodium channels close. Slow-opening voltage gated potassium channels that began opening at threshold are now fully open. Potassium efflux occurs and the membrane repolarizes during this phase, called the falling phase. Activation of potassium channels is at its highest and few sodium channels are open during this phase. Because potassium channels open and close slowly, the action potential actually repolarizes beyond the resting potential. This undershoot phase occurs until potassium channels fully close at about negative 85 millivolts. During the recovery phase that follows, the neuron returns to resting conditions and the resting potential is restored. (w titles).

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Keywords: action potential, falling, nerve cell, nerve cell membrane, neuron, potassium channel, recovery, resting potential, rising, sodium channel, stimulus, synapse, threshold, undershoot

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Gated Channels, Nerve Cell

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