By E. M. Pantelouris
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Extra resources for Introduction to Animal Physiology and Physiological Genetics
Symp. 4, 43, 1936). A is the point on the cell wall of the alga, Nitella, where the stimulus is applied. Its passage along the cell is blocked by a dead region between B and C and by applying at the places indicated by the arrows drops of gradually decreasing concentrations of potassium chloride. If the salt bridge is inserted between B and C the disturbance of potential difference originating at A reaches, via this bridge, point C. The salt bridge consists of a 0-001 M solution of potassium chloride carried by cotton wool soaked in it and filling the capillary tube connecting B and C.
If the second stimulus falls during contraction or relaxation of the previous twitch, it enhances the effect of the first stimu lation (summation of stimulations). If the second stimulus falls after the previous twitch there will be, of course, two complete separate twitches. A subthreshold stimulus cannot elicit a muscle twitch. But if a whole series of subthreshold stimuli is applied, a twitch is elicited. Each impulse facilitates, presumably, the succeeding ones. This "latent addition of stimuli" is important especially for smooth muscle.
The disturbance was propagated through this "salt bridge" and the rate of its propagation was such as to exclude the diffusion of a chemical factor. Speed of Conduction The speed at which impulses travel varies in different nerve fibres, and is governed by the diameter of the fibre, the thickness of themyelin sheath and the presence or absence of nodes of Ranvier. Pumphrey and Young studied the relation of speed to diameter in fibres supplying the mantle muscle of Loligo. This muscle consists of nine sections, each supplied by a palliai nerve, arising from the stellate ganglion and consisting of giant fibres of large diameter (Fig.
Introduction to Animal Physiology and Physiological Genetics by E. M. Pantelouris