Action potentials, also referred to as "spikes", are generated in neurons to carry the electrical signals from the cell body to the synapses on the axon. Action potentials are short changes in the electrical potential across the cell membrane in an axon. Hodgkin and Huxley found that the resting potential across the membrane of the neuron was -60mV inside relative to outside. The action potential is a reversal of the polarity (the potential across the membrane becomes positive inside relative to outside) that travels down the axon to the axon terminals.
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- Barnett, Mark W., Larkman, Phillip M. (2007) The Action Potential Pract. Neurol. 7:192-197