Inquiry Problem/Writing Assignment

The heart, as a whole, and myocytes have rather unique electrophysiological properties. Why does the SA Node initiate an action potential as opposed to other areas in the heart? How does the action potential spread through the heart/myocytes (think also 3-dimensionally and as a function of time) to cause muscular contraction? In a very general sense, describe the mechanism that is used to assess these electrical events and does a typical ‘pattern’ exist that corresponds with such electrical events?

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Topic Relevance: This topic provides for the foundation of electrocardiographic theory. Avoid going into detail about the procedures of the electrocardiogram (EKG) but rather focus on the electrophysiological of the heart and events as recorded over time.

Bonus: Provide 3 examples of how the spreading of an action potential might go wrong (explain relative to your discussion above). Integrate into your paper if you choose to answer the bonus question