ERIC Number: EJ1021085
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Mar
Abstractor: As Provided
Portable Conduction Velocity Experiments Using Earthworms for the College and High School Neuroscience Teaching Laboratory
Shannon, Kyle M.; Gage, Gregory J.; Jankovic, Aleksandra; Wilson, W. Jeffrey; Marzullo, Timothy C.
Advances in Physiology Education, v38 n1 p62-70 Mar 2014
The earthworm is ideal for studying action potential conduction velocity in a classroom setting, as its simple linear anatomy allows easy axon length measurements and the worm's sparse coding allows single action potentials to be easily identified. The earthworm has two giant fiber systems (lateral and medial) with different conduction velocities that can be easily measured by manipulating electrode placement and the tactile stimulus. Here, we present a portable and robust experimental setup that allows students to perform conduction velocity measurements within a 30-min to 1-h laboratory session. Our improvement over this well-known preparation is the combination of behaviorally relevant tactile stimuli (avoiding electrical stimulation) with the invention of minimal, low-cost, and portable equipment. We tested these experiments during workshops in both a high school and college classroom environment and found positive learning outcomes when we compared pre- and posttests taken by the students.
Descriptors: Animals, College Science, Secondary School Science, Neurosciences, Science Laboratories, Science Experiments, Laboratory Equipment, Tactual Perception, Stimuli, Workshops, Pretests Posttests, Instructional Effectiveness, Physiology
American Physiological Society. 9650 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20814-3991. Tel: 301-634-7164; Fax: 301-634-7241; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://advan.physiology.org/
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; High Schools
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Michigan