Objectives-2, BIO 3360


  1. Define neurons and neuroglia.
  2. Give three examples of neuroglial cells.
  3. Describe the overall functions of nervous tissue.
  4. Distinguish between the parts of a typical neuron – including general functions of each part.
  5. Define nuclei and ganglia as they pertain to neuron cell bodies.
  6. Explain why axon regeneration is more likely in PNS and not in the CNS.
  7. Define nerve and identify where one may be found.
  8. Define polarized, depolarized and hyperpolarized.
  9. Examine which cells have resting membrane potentials, graded potentials and which have action potentials.
  10. Analyze the subcelluar process that leads to a graded potential.
  11. Compare the status of Na+ and K+ channels in a resting cell.
  12. List three types of gated channels and the types of potentials that occur in each of the three.
  13. Review the factors that contribute to a resting membrane potential. What is an approximate value in millivolts?
  14. List the steps of a local potential – include the direct result of a response to a stimulus.
  15. Compare the term “local” to “graded” in regards to potentials.
  16. Portray three terms used to mean graded potential.
  17. Compare the distance that graded vs. action potentials can travel.
  18. Describe the steps of an action potential and graph the response in terms of time and voltage (include in your answer: resting membrane potential, depolarization, threshold, repolarization and hyperpolarization).
  19. Define threshold as it relates to an action potential.
  20. Theorize why action potentials are considered to be all or none.
  21. Name the cells that can have an action potential.
  22. Name the type of ion channels involved in the action potential.
  23. Explain the significance of the Na/K pump after the action potential concludes.
  24. Compare and contrast the absolute refractory period from the relative refractory period.
  25. Describe the steps of a nerve impulse in a non-myelinated axon.
  26. Compare the speed of nerve impulses in myelinated vs. non-myelinated axons.
  27. Describe the steps of a nerve impulse in a myelinated axon.
  28. Compare the color of myelinated vs. non-myelinated axons.
  29. Name the cells that produce myelin. What are nodes of Ranvier?
  30. Define saltatory conduction.


  1. Define synapse.
  2. Describe an electrical synapse and provide examples of its location.
  3. Compare and contrast a reciprocal and rectifying synapse.
  4. Define presynaptic and postsynaptic neurons.
  5. Describe the synaptic cleft, the synaptic vesicle and the synaptic knob.
  6. Relate all of the steps of synaptic transmission at a chemical synapse.
  7. Define and give an example of a neurotransmitter.
  8. Describe characteristics of an acetylcholine receptor.
  9. Describe how acetylcholine causes changes in the motor end plate or the muscle cell.
  10. Define end plate potential and indicate if it is all-or-none or a graded potential.
  11. Describe the fate of acetylcholine and calcium following an end plate potential.
  12. Define and give an example of a neuromodulator.
  13. Describe an EPSP and an IPSP. Are they all-or-none or graded potentials?
  14. Compare spatial and temporal summation as they relate to neural integration. Which one is characterized by convergence?
  15. Compare presynaptic inhibition and presynaptic facilitation.


  1. Classify the organs of the nervous system into central and peripheral divisions. Include in your classification, the terms afferent, efferent, somatic, visceral, and autonomic nervous system (parasympathetic/sympathetic).
  2. Define nuclei and ganglia as they relate to nerve cell body location.
  3. Contrast white and gray matter.
  4. Describe the arrangement of the nervous system of animals with radial symmetry.
  5. Describe the arrangement of the nervous system of animals with bilateral symmetry.
  6. Define centralization and cephalization.
  7. In general, which part of the nervous system functions in integration, sensory stimuli, and motor responses.
  8. Contrast the pathway of efferent nerve impulses traveling to skeletal muscle vs. smooth muscle, cardiac muscle and glands.
  9. Compare the structural and functional differences between the somatic efferent and autonomic portions of the nervous system. Which would be considered voluntary and which would be involuntary?
  10. Identify the principal structural features (the neurons) of the autonomic nervous system.
  11. Name the 2 divisions of the A.N.S. Generally, how do their functions differ?
  12. Define cholinergic and adrenergic. Classify autonomic nerve fibers in each division as cholinergic or adrenergic.
  13. Describe the various autonomic receptors.
  14. Explain the role of the hypothalamus and its relationship to the sympathetic and parasympathetic divisions.
  15. The drug atropine causes what effects to the A.N.S.?
  16. Describe the effects of parasympathetic and sympathetic stimulation (heart, lungs, digestion, pupil, sweat glands, adrenal medulla, cutaneous blood vessels, abdominal blood vessels, skeletal muscle blood vessels, bladder).


  1. Name the muscles that are striated and those that are not.
  2. List four overall functions of skeletal muscle.
  3. Define tendon, myofiber, myofibril, sarcomere, sarcoplasmic reticulum, sarcolemma, T tubule, and myofilament.
  4. Compare A bands to I bands. Describe the H zone and the Z line.
  5. Identify the term used to describe the functional unit of muscle contraction.
  6. Describe the characteristics, including the binding site of actin and myosin.
  7. Describe the role of tropomyosin and troponin.
  8. Elaborate on the steps of the sliding filament mechanism. Compare this to the excitation-contraction coupling.
  9. Describe cross bridge and power stroke.
  10. List the roles that ATP plays in both contraction and relaxation.
  11. Explain why calcium is the main regulator of muscle contraction.
  12. List the sources of ATP for muscle contraction.
  13. Describe the cause of muscle fatigue.
  14. Describe restorative processes (i.e. debts) following strenuous exercise.
  15. Compare and contrast the three main types of muscle twitch fibers.


  1. Define tension and load as they relate to muscle shortening.
  2. Compare and contrast isometric and isotonic contractions.
  3. Explain what a muscle twitch is. Identify the three characteristic phases of a muscle twitch.
  4. Explain the significance of the muscle fiber length in terms of maximal contraction ability.
  5. Compare the speed of an isotonic contraction as the load changes.
  6. Describe what happens to a muscle fiber if a second stimulation (AP) occurs before the effects of the first one have disappeared.
  7. Describe temporal summation, wave summation, incomplete tetanus and complete tetanus.
  8. Define multiple motor unit summation, spatial summation, treppe, asynchronous motor unit summation and muscle tone.
  9. Explain summation in terms of calcium and the elastic components of stretched muscle.
  10. Define motor unit.
  11. Define recruitment as it pertains to gradations you can achieve in whole muscle contraction.


  1. Contrast smooth muscle from skeletal muscle in terms of control (voluntary or involuntary), microscopic appearance, and location.
  2. Describe the shape of smooth muscle cells.
  3. Describe the arrangement of the actin and myosin in smooth muscle and indicate how this is different from the arrangement in skeletal muscle.
  4. Define the terms neurogenic and myogenic as they relate to the initiation of smooth muscle contraction.
  5. Name the ion that is the key regulator of smooth muscle contraction.
  6. Briefly, explain the role of calmodulin in smooth muscle contraction.
  7. List three factors that can change the resting membrane potential in smooth muscle.
  8. Explain why smooth muscle contraction can occur even without an action potential.
  9. Explain how depolarization occurs in smooth muscle and contrast this with skeletal muscle.