SCOTT DIXON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCOTT DIXON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Heart conduction system. Animation showing the impulse conduction system (green) and nodes (bulb-shaped) of the human heart. The sinoatrial (SA) node's (upper left) self-excitatory muscle cells trigger an impulse that spreads through the heart's upper chambers (atria) to the atrioventricular (AV) node (centre left). Contraction of the atria causes blood to move into the heart's lower chambers. Further electrical excitation causes the ventricles to contract, sending blood to the lungs and to the rest of the body. The animation zooms in first on the SA node, and then the AV node.
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