The Nerve Impulse

(‘Nerve cell, artwork” 2016)

In biological sciences, a nerve impulse is an electrochemical signal transmitted along a nerve fiber to allow communication between nerve cells. For students studying biological sciences, particularly human physiology, understanding the concept of the nerve impulse is vital to understanding the role of the nervous system and the ways it interacts with other bodily systems to respond to stimuli in the environment. Understanding the nerve impulse allows students to succeed not only in their coursework but also in future careers in medicine, health, and other related fields. However, the current resources available for learning this concept are inadequate. Many resources attempt to explain the nerve impulse by explaining the various steps in intricate detail, but fail to concretely tie them together and describe the ‘big picture’.

The purpose of this website is to better explain the concept of a nerve impulse to students pursuing a career in biological sciences, and will do so by explaining the minor details involved as well as the overall concept. In particular, BIO 212 students at Iowa State University will benefit from this resource. This website will provide a summary of the process of a nerve impulse, a video that narrates and illustrates this process, a quiz to test the readers’ knowledge, and a glossary of terms necessary to understand the process of a nerve impulse, complete with descriptions and illustrations.

This website consists of the following pages:

Summary of Process: explains the general step-by-step process of the nerve impulse from start to finish, accompanied by graphs and illustrations.

Video: provides an in-depth explanation of the nerve impulse along with animations and graphics.

Quiz: tests understanding of the process in multiple-choice format.

Glossary of Terms: provides detailed explanations of important terms relating to the nerve impulse process.

References: contains references to all images, animations, and sites used in the creation of this resource, along with links for further learning.

For further questions about this website, contact Alexandra Fietsam at