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Name: SEAN
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Question:
OUR BRAINS SEND ELECTRICAL IMPULSES RIGHT. IS IT BASICALLY SAME AS NORMAL ELECTRICITY? IS IT LIKE ELECTRICITY FROM OUTLETS,LIGHTNING..ETC IS THERE ELECTRICITY ANYWHERE ELSE IN THE HUMAN BODY?



Replies:
Hi Sean

Your nerves do not work quite the same way as an electric wire.

Electricity is a movement of charge. In a wire the electrons move to carry the charge along the wire.

In a nerve the electrical signal moves although no electrical charge actually moves along the nerve - the signal travels in the form of an action potential.

The inside of nerve cells normally has a slight negative charge as a result of the activity of pumps which move charged ions prodominantly out of the cell. When an electrical charge is placed near a nerve cell it causes gates in the membrane to open and allow the ions to reenter the cell and depolarise the membrane near the position where the charge is located. The depolarisation causes ion channels to open in the membrane a little further along the nerve (resulting in depolarisation here) and then channels open in the membrane a little further along...the chain reaction of depolarisations moves along the nerve until it gets to the end where the depolarisation causes an appropriate response (such as muscle contraction).

Cameron Millsom


You have nerves in every part of your body and impulses are sent electrically from the brain to all parts of the body. It is similar to electricity in that there is a difference in electrical potential between one area of the nerve and another. Nervous transmission is quite complicated to explain here. I suggest you find a biology text and read up on the sodium-potassium pump. Your heart muscle is also capable of electrical activity.

Van Hoeck



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