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Virtual Laboratory

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The simulation program is based on the Nobel Prize winning Hodgkin-Huxley model for excitation of the squid axon. The program simulates an excised squid axon by applying stimuli or clamps after setting the environment of the axon, changing its properties, and/or adding drugs or toxins.

By using the program tools, experiments can be developed that explore a variety of nerve properties, ranging from classical phenomena such as threshold, summation, refractory period, and impulse propagation to more modern concepts of channels, gates, and eventually even molecular events.

The simulation provides insight into the hypothesized mechanisms of excitation in a way that is not practical with animal preparations. These ideas can be explored at both beginning and advanced levels. You can dive into a full blown propagating action potential with 15 recording electrodes or you can begin with an unexcitable axon and gradually patch in the component parts. In every case there are animations linked to the computations which will help interpret any experiment.