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Skeletal Muscle Question sheet

A copy of the question sheet must be submitted via turnitin by 5 pm on the due
date as well as a hard copy.
You will need to add data from your saved file to this document (you can copy
and paste originals).
When answer questions be as precise as possible. For example, if you are
referring to a specific number that is derived from your data carefully make sure it
matches the observation.

Vanessa Musco
ID: 18066525
Group: D

Exercise 1: The Graded Response

Study Questions
1. What was the smallest voltage required to produce a contraction (the threshold
voltage)? What proportion of the fibers in the muscle do you think were
contracting to produce this small response? (1 mark)
The smallest voltage required to gain a response is 0.0700 V. The proportion of
muscle fibers used wouldve been quite minimal (Approximately 5%) to generate
the minimal force.
2. What was the smallest voltage required to produce the maximum (largest)
contraction? What proportion of the fibers in the muscle do you think were
contracting to produce this maximal response? (1 mark)
The smallest voltage required to exert the maximum force was 2.65 V. All the
muscle fibers wouldve been contracting to produce the maximum force.
3. What do you conclude happened to the number of fibers contracting as the voltage
was raised from threshold to that required to produce a maximal contraction? (1

With each interval increase of voltage, it is clear that a greater force is seen thus
meaning the proportion of muscle fibers being used were also increasing until all
the fibers were being used and the force was not increasing.
4. In light of the all or none law of muscle contraction, how can you explain the
graded response? (2 marks)
The all or none law refers the response of the muscle fiber to the stimulus at any
strength over the maximum threshold. The graded response is observing the
response when the stimulus is slowly increasing. So once the muscle reaches the
threshold where it can no longer create any more force, either all the muscle fibers
are working, or none at all, and this is found through the graded response.

Exercise 2: Effect of Stretch on Contraction Force

Study Questions
Q1. What effect does stretching the muscle have on the twitch force? Describe what you
see and try and explain the reasoning for your observation? (1 mark)
Stretching the muscle helps increase the maximum force the muscle fibers create which
could be because each time the muscle is tightened the resting force also is increased
and thus the actual muscle contraction is able to create a greater force due to the
assistance of the stretching.
Q2.What stretch resulted in the highest net force? What happens to the muscle at the
highest stretch levels? (2 marks)
The stretch at 4 mm (8 mm since the increment was 2mm each test) resulted in the
greatest net force. At the highest stretch level you can see that the net force decreases
this happens because inside the muscle, the fibers are being stretched apart too and are
becoming further away from each other and cant create a greater force because there is
less contact to contract at full strength.

Exercise 3: Effect of Stimulus Frequency on

Contraction Force

Study Question
1. How does varying the frequency effect contraction force? Which interval caused
the greatest contraction? (1 mark)
Varying the frequency either increases or decreases the overall force because the
resting period between each contraction becomes smaller and once it passes the
optimum, the timing between each contraction becomes too quick and results in a
decrease in force

Exercise 4: Tetanus

Study Question
1. Define tetanus. At which stimulus interval did you observe tetanus? Explain the
mechanism behind this phenomenon. (3 marks)
tetanus occurs when there is constant stimulation occurring and the interval
between each stimulation is reduced which eventually leads to a combined
contraction which is constant. We observed tetanus occurring at the 20 ms
interval. Tetanus occurs because each time you decrease the interval between
stimulation there is less time for the muscle to relax and then the muscle is being
stimulated at a higher force before it has completely rested. So with each interval

increase, the higher the force becomes until it reaches a maximum and smooths
out, as is seen from the graph.

Exercise 5: Muscle fatigue

Study Questions
1. At what time point did your muscle begin to fatigue? Comment on the percentage
decrease in contraction force by the end of the experiment. (2 marks)
The muscle began to fatigue at around 6-10 seconds and continues to drop from
there. The drop in force was a little under half of its initial force (43.3%) which is
suggesting that the longer you keep a muscle stimulated it will lose around half of
its initial force overall.

2. Provide a possible mechanism for why the muscle was unable to maintain a
prolonged contraction. (1 mark)
due to the prolonged contraction the muscle fibers are being constantly stretched
and get to a point where they cannot maintain such a high force and will
completely drain their energy stores which thus results in muscle fatigue.