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Name: Courtney A.

Urbano

Exercise 2: Skeletal Muscle Physiology: Activity 1: The Muscle Twitch and the Latent Period Lab Report

Pre-lab Quiz Results


You scored 100% by answering 5 out of 5 questions correctly.

1. Skeletal muscles are connected to bones by You correctly answered: b. tendons.

2. Skeletal muscles are composed of hundreds to thousands of individual cells called


You correctly answered: c. fibers.

3. The term motor unit refers to


You correctly answered: c. one motor neuron and all of the skeletal muscle fibers it innervates.

4. The motor neuron and muscle fiber intersect at what is called You correctly answered:
d. the neuromuscular junction.

5. A twitch is
You correctly answered: a. one contractile response to a single action potential.

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Experiment Results
Predict Question:
Predict Question: Will changes to the stimulus voltage alter the duration of the latent period?
Your answer : a. Yes, changing the stimulus voltage will change the latent period duration proportionately.

Stop & Think Questions:


What is the period of time that elapses between the generation of an action potential and the start of muscle tension
development in a muscle fiber?
You correctly answered: c. the latent period

What occurs during the latent period of these isometric contractions?


You correctly answered: b. All the steps of excitation-contraction coupling occur.

Experiment Data:

Voltage Length Active Force Passive Force Total Force Latent Period
0.0 75 0.00 0.00 0.00 ---
3.0 75 1.04 0.00 1.04 ---
4.0 75 1.32 0.00 1.32 2.80
6.0 75 1.65 0.00 1.65 2.80
8.0 75 1.81 0.00 1.81 2.80
10.0 75 1.82 0.00 1.82 2.80

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Post-lab Quiz Results

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You scored 100% by answering 7 out of 7 questions correctly.

1. An action potential in a motor neuron triggers the release of which neurotransmitter? You correctly answered: b.
acetylcholine

2. The term skeletal muscle fiber refers to


You correctly answered: a. an individual skeletal muscle cell.

3. The graded depolarization in the skeletal muscle fiber that is elicited in response to one action potential from the motor
neuron is called
You correctly answered: c. an EPP (end-plate potential).

4. Which of the following is not a phase of a skeletal muscle twitch?


You correctly answered: b. hyperpolarization phase

5. A skeletal muscle twitch is


You correctly answered: a. one contractile response to a single action potential.

6. Which of the following correctly matches the twitch phase with its definition?
You correctly answered: d. the contraction phase: the time between the end of the latent period and peak muscle tension

7. A sufficiently strong electrical stimulus applied to an isolated, mounted skeletal muscle induces the development of
muscle force, or muscle tension. Which of the following statements concerning this observation is true? You correctly
answered: c. The electrical stimulus mimics acetylcholine release at a neuromuscular junction

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Review Sheet Results
1. Define the terms skeletal muscle fiber, motor unit, skeletal muscle twitch, electrical stimulus, and latent period.
Your answer:
Skeletal muscle fiber- the cylidrical fibers that make up skeletal muscles.
motor unit- a motor unit is a single motor neuron plus all the muscle fibers to which it connects. Some motor neurons only
connect to a few muscle fibers.
skeletal muscle twitch-A Muscle Twitch is a single contraction of skeletal muscle. The three distinct phases are latent,
contraction, and relaxation. electrical stimulus-is the elicitation of muscle contraction using electric impulses. latent
period-The interval between stimulation and response.

2. What is the role of acetylcholine in a skeletal muscle contraction?


Your answer:
At the end of the skeletal muscle fibre, there is a single motor neuron that forms many finer branches. At the end of these
branches is a synaptic terminal which contain mitochondria and vesicles which in turn contain ACh.
So, when an action potential is propagated down towards the synaptic terminal, ACh is triggered to be released by
exocytosis into the synaptic cleft and then onto the motor end plate (which is the other surface upon which the action
potential will propagate; this is highly folded for increased surface area).
ACh then binds to receptors on the motor end plate, changing its permeability to Na+ ions. Na+ ions (due to an increased
electrochemical gradient) rush into the sarcolemma. This influx increases until AChE breaks down the ACh. This influx
results in the generation of an action potential

3. Describe the process of excitation-contraction coupling in skeletal muscle fibers.


Your answer:
The general scheme is that an action potential arrives to depolarize the cell membrane. By mechanisms specific to the
muscle type, this depolarization results in an increase in cytosolic calcium that is called a calcium transient. This increase in
calcium activates calcium-sensitive contractile proteins that then use ATP to cause cell shortening.
process of converting an electrical stimulus to mechanical response [1]. This process is fundamental to muscle physiology,
whereby the electrical stimulus is usually an action potential and the mechanical response is contraction. EC coupling can
be dysregulated in many disease conditions.
Though EC coupling has been known for over half a century, it is still an active area of biomedical research. The general
scheme is that an action potential arrives to depolarize the cell membrane. By mechanisms specific to the muscle type, this
depolarization results in an increase in cytosolic calcium that is called a calcium transient. This increase in calcium activates
calcium-sensitive contractile proteins that then use ATP to cause cell shortening.

4. Describe the three phases of a skeletal muscle twitch.


Your answer:
Latent Phase: Is the interval from the stimulus application until the muscle begins to contract (shorten). Note that there is no
traced activity during this phase, but there are some electrical and chemical changes taking place during this phase.
Contraction Phase: This phase is when the muscle fibers shorten, the tracings will show during this phase (a) peak(s).
Relaxation Phase: This phase is represented by the downward curve in your tracings, this is when the muscle is going back
to its original state of relaxation and the muscle will once again lengthen

5. Does the duration of the latent period change with different stimulus voltages? How well did the results compare with
your prediction?
Your answer:
No. In all tests, the latent period remained the same. The results proved my prediction to be correct.

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6. At the threshold stimulus, do sodium ions start to move into or out of the cell to bring about the membrane
depolarization?
Your answer:
The threshold is the time at which the sodium ions start moving into the cell to bring about the membrane depolarization.

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