Authors: J.B. Gilpin-Brown, Plymouth Marine Laboratory
Topic / Subtopic: B. Neural Excitability, Synapses, and Glia: Cellular Mechanisms / B.00. Action Potentials; H. Teaching, History and Societal Impacts of Neuroscience / H.01. History of Neuroscience
Resource Type: Video Clip
Educational Level: 2 Intermediate undergraduate, 3 Advanced undergraduate
Publication Date: 1975
Listing Updated: March 7, 2012
"The Squid and its Giant Nerve Fiber" was filmed in the 1970s at Plymouth Marine Laboratory in England. This is the laboratory where Hodgkin and Huxley conducted experiments on the squid giant axon in the 1940s. Their experiments unraveled the mechanism of the action potential, and led to a Nobel Prize. Long out of print, the film is an historically important record of the voltage-clamp technique as developed by Hodgkin and Huxley, as well as an interesting glimpse at how the experiments were done. QuickTime video excerpts from the film are presented here: Dissection and anatomy (J.Z. Young); Removing the mantle nerves (H. Meves); Cleaning and cannulating a giant fiber; Voltage clamping (P.F. Baker & A.L. Hodgkin); Injection & perfusion (R.D. Keynes).
Editor's Comment: This is an historically important record of fundamental experiments in neurophysiology. The clips are short enough to show in a class, or students can be assigned to view the narrated videos on their own.
Tags: Hodgkin, Keynes, Meves, perfusion, Squid Giant Axon, voltage clamping, Young
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