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J Gen Physiol. 1962 November 1; 46(2): 297–313.
PMCID: PMC2195257

The Effects of Mechanical Stimulation on Some Electrical Properties of Axons

Abstract

Rapid, short duration mechanical compression of lobster giant axons by a crystal-driven stylus produces a depolarization and an increase in membrane conductance which develop immediately with compression but take several seconds to recover. The conductance increase occurs even when the depolarization is prevented electrically. If sodium is removed from the external medium or if procaine is added to it, compression produces almost no depolarization. Small bundles of myelinated frog fibers are depolarized by rapid compression but recover very rapidly (milliseconds); "off" responses are occasionally seen. The results are discussed in terms of the mechanoelectric transducer behavior of an axon membrane.

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