1. Explain why increasing extracellular K+ reduces the net diffusion of K+ out of the neuron through the K+ leak
If the extracellular K+ increases then the concentration of intracellular K+ will decrease causing a decrease in the steepness
of the concentration gradient and fewer K+ ions would be drawn out.
2. Explain why increasing extracellular K+ causes the membrane potential to change to a less negative value. How well
did the results compare with your prediction?
If extracellular K+ is increased then the intracellular K+ will decrease. Fewer intracellular K+ ions would result in the
membrane potential being less negative. This is what I predicted to happen.
3. Explain why a change in extracellular Na+ did not significantly alter the membrane potential in the resting neuron?
There are less sodium leak channels than potassium leak channels, and more of the potassium channels are open.
4. Discuss the relative permeability of the membrane to Na+ and K+ in a resting neuron.
Membrane permeability to sodium is very low because there are only a few sodium leak channels. The membrane is more
permeable to potassium because of the higher number of potassium leak channels.
5. Discuss how a change in Na+ or K+ conductance would affect the resting membrane potential.
The resting membrane potential depends on the intracellular and extracellular concentrations of the Na+ and K+ ions.
Conductance would change the concentration gradient causing either Na+ or K+ to flow into or out of the cell which would
change the resting membrane potential. [continues]
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