Chapter 2. Membranes, Action Potentials, Synapses

  1. C. U. M. Smith

Published Online: 24 NOV 2008

DOI: 10.1002/9780470694374.ch2

Biology of Sensory Systems, Second Edition

Biology of Sensory Systems, Second Edition

How to Cite

Smith, C. U. M. (2009) Membranes, Action Potentials, Synapses, in Biology of Sensory Systems, Second Edition, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9780470694374.ch2

Author Information

  1. Vision Sciences, Aston University, Birmingham, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 24 NOV 2008
  2. Published Print: 9 JAN 2009

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470518625

Online ISBN: 9780470694374



  • membranes, action potential;
  • biochemistry and molecular biology of synapses;
  • plasma membrane;
  • passive electric current flow in cells;
  • resting potential;
  • electrotonic conduction;
  • receptor and generator potentials;
  • nature of sensory adaptation;
  • action potentials;
  • synaptic transmission


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • The Measurement of Resting Potentials

  • The Ionic Bases of Resting Potentials

  • Electrotonic Potentials and Cable Conduction

  • Receptor and Generator Potentials

  • Sensory Adaptation

  • Action Potentials

  • Synapses and Synaptic Transmission

  • Concluding Remarks