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Saltatory conduction

Saltatory conduction is a means by which action potentials are transmitted along myelinated fibers of neurons.

Because the salty cytoplasm of the axon is electrically conductive, and because the myelin inhibits charge leakage through the membrane, depolarization at one node is sufficient to elevate the voltage at a neighboring node to the threshold for action potential initiation. Thus in myelinated axons, action potentials do not propagate as waves, but recur at successive nodes and in effect hop along the axon faster than they would travel otherwise. This mode of propagation is known as saltatory conduction.



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