Propagating Action Potentials

  • G. Bard ErmentroutEmail author
  • David H. Terman
Part of the Interdisciplinary Applied Mathematics book series (IAM, volume 35)


Neurons need to communicate over long distances. This is accomplished by electrical signals, or action potentials, that propagate along the axon. We have seen that linear cables cannot transmit information very far; neural signals are able to reach long distances because there exist voltage-gated channels in the cell membrane. The combination of ions diffusing along the axon together with the nonlinear flow of ions across the membrane allows for the existence of an action potential that propagates along the axon with a constant shape and velocity.


Periodic Orbit Wave Speed Travel Wave Solution Unstable Manifold Homoclinic Orbit 
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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dept. MathematicsUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA
  2. 2.Dept. MathematicsOhio State UniversityColumbusUSA

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