API Study Guide Home Page



This is only meant as a review of material.  It is not an exclusive list of all of the questions on the final.  It is a fairly comprehensive list of the material that is will needed to answer those questions.  Combine this material together do not try to learn it in separate bites. All of this interrelates make sure you know how it does.

action potential

1.      ACTION POTENTIALS (neurons & muscles)

1.1.   Describe exactly what is happening (in terms of charges, ion movement, and type of transport) at each stage of an action potential

1.2.   Identify what ions are involved in an action potential

1.3.   Identify when the Na+ & K+ gates open and close

1.4.   Identify when Na+ and K+ move through the membrane and how they do it.

1.5.   Describe how a resting potential is maintained.

1.6.   Identify if the membrane is negative or positive on the outside and on the inside and why that is.

1.7.   Describe the parts of an action potential and what is occurring inside and outside of the membrane

1.7.1.      Depolarization

1.7.2.      Repolarization

1.7.3.      Relative Refractory Period

1.7.4.      Absolute Refractory Period

1.7.5.      Hyperpolarizing

1.8.   Describe what ions are moving across the membrane during depolarization and repolarization.

1.9.   Describe where the greater concentration of Na+ and K+ are when a cell is polarized

1.10.                    Identify when the cell is negative on the inside.

1.11.                    Identify if ATP is required

1.12.                    Identify when ions move by diffusion and active transport.


2.      NEURONS

2.1.   Describe the parts and the functions of the neuron.

2.1.1.      Cell body

2.1.2.      Dendrite

2.1.3.      Axon

2.1.4.      Axon terminals

2.1.5.      Schawn Cells

2.1.6.      Nodes of Ranvier

2.2.   Describe which direction information is carried through the neuron

2.3.   Describe what a nerve impulse is.

2.4.   Identify what structures carry information into the cell body and which ones carry information away from the cell body.

2.5.   Describe how an action potential is carried through a neuron.

2.6.   Identify where in a neuron action potentials and graded potentials occur and what the difference is between the two.

2.7.   Describe what a neurotransmitter is.


3.1.   Describe the basic functions of the nervous system

3.1.1.      Integrative

3.1.2.      Sensory

3.1.3.      Motor

3.2.   Be able to identify specific functions of the nervous system

3.3.   Identify and know the differences between:

3.3.1.      central nervous system

3.3.2.      peripheral nervous system

3.3.3.      sensory nervous system

3.3.4.      somatic nervous system

3.3.5.      autonomic nervous system

3.3.6.      sympathetic nervous system

3.3.7.      parasympathetic nervous system

3.4.   Describe what the somatic nervous system innervates compared to the autonomic system.

3.5.   Identify the structures of the central nervous system refers to.

3.6.   Describe what the blood brain barrier is and what it protects the brain from.

3.7.   Describe  how the brain is protected

3.8.   Describe the  meninges and what do they protect


4.1.   Identify where cranial nerves originate.

4.2.   Identify if cranial nerves somatic, autonomic, sensory or all three.

4.3.   Describe the function of the vagus nerve.

4.4.   Identify the name and general function of the cranial nerves

4.4.1.      Olfactory 

4.4.2.      Optic

4.4.3.      Oculomotor

4.4.4.      Facial

4.4.5.      Vagus

4.4.6.      Glossophyrngeal

4.4.7.      Vestibulocochlear


5.1.   Describe how somatic system involves skeletal muscle and skin

5.2.   Describe what a reflex is.

5.3.   Describe how a reflex involves the spinal cord or cranial nerves but not conscious control

5.4.   Describe that a reflex can be learned and modified

5.5.   Describe the patellar reflex

5.6.   Describe the deep tendon reflex

5.7.   Describe the parts and order of a reflex arc.

5.7.1.      Affecter

5.7.2.      Sensory nerve

5.7.3.      Integration Center

5.7.4.      Motor Nerve

5.7.5.      Effector

5.8.   Describe which way sensory nerves (afferent) always carry information

5.9.   Describe which way motor nerves (efferent) always carry information

5.10.                    Identify what the terms afferent and efferent means

5.11.                    Describe the difference between peripheral nerves and the central nervous system

5.12.                    Describe the term referred pain mean

5.13.                    Identify the location of the major nerve plexuses and where they leave the spinal cord.

5.13.1.  Cervical

5.13.2.  Brachial

5.13.3.  Lumbar

5.13.4.  Sacral

5.14.                    Identify what is meant by the funny bone.

5.15.                    Identify  the locations of the following nerves and which nerve plexus they come from:

5.15.1.  Radial

5.15.2.  Ulnar

5.15.3.  Median

5.15.4.  Sciatic

5.15.5.  Femoral

5.15.6.  Intercostal


6.1.   Identify generally what structures are and are not innervated by the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems.

6.2.   Describe the function of the autonomic nervous system.

6.3.   Identify that the autonomic system does not control skeletal muscle

6.4.   Identify that the autonomic nervous system is involuntary.

6.5.   Describe which system is involved in fight or flight and which system is involved in resting and maintenance.

6.6.   Describe that both system innervate most organs but do not have the same effect

6.7.   Describe what the general function of the parasympathetic nervous system is.

6.8.   Describe what the general function of the sympathetic nervous system is.

6.9.   Describe the function of the vagus nerve in the parasympathetic nervous system


7.1.   Identify the types of receptors and match them to a sense

7.1.1.      Mechanical receptors

7.1.2.      Pain receptors

7.1.3.      Chemoreceptors

7.1.4.      Photoreceptors

7.1.5.      Thermoreceptors

7.2.   Describe how pain receptors work 

7.3.   Describe what is meant by senses adapting

8.      MUSCLES

8.1.   Describe a motor unit.

8.2.   Describe a sarcomere

8.2.1.      Identify what the functional unit of a muscle fiber is

8.2.2.      Describe myofibrils .

8.2.3.      Describe myosin and actin and how they interact. (Which is the thin filament and which is the thick filament)

8.2.4.      Describe how the sliding filament model of contraction works.(i.e.  actin and myosin slide past each other)

8.2.5.      Describe  the functions of Na+, K+ and Ca++ are in muscle contraction

8.3.   Describe what stimulates a muscle fiber.

8.4.   Describe oxygen debt.

8.4.1.      Describe what causes oxygen debt. Include other systems such as the cardiovascular and respiratory systems. 

8.4.2.      Describe how the cardiovascular and respiratory systems affect oxygen debt.

8.5.   Describe the functions of ATP  in a muscle contraction (movement of filaments) and the maintenance of resting potential

8.5.1.      Describe what happens if there is a shortage of ATP (and how that shortage occurred)

8.5.2.      Describe the relationship between muscle activity and body temperature

8.5.3.      Describe whether muscles utilize heat or release it.

8.6.   Describe cross bridges and what would prevent their formation

8.7.   Describe what happens when a sarcomere is stretched too far. What happens to cross bridge formation?

8.8.   Identify the function of the sarcoplasmic reticulum and how does it impact Ca++

8.9.   Describe how Ca++ affects cross bridge formation.

8.10.                    Describe the difference between an agonist and an antagonist


9.1.   Describe the relationship between joints and skeletal movement.

9.2.   Identify the functions of joints

9.3.   Describe the function of tendons and ligaments in relation to joints.

9.4.   Describe the functions of tendon sheaths  and bursae are

9.5.   Describe  synovial fluid is and what its function is

9.6.   Identify what hyaline cartilage is and what its function in a joint


10.1.                    Describe what types of cartilage are present

10.2.                    Describe the functional unit of compact bone is.

10.3.                    Describe what  the gross anatomy of a long bone and the function of each structure

10.3.1.  compact bone

10.3.2.  spongy bone

10.3.3.  lamellae

10.3.4.  osteon

10.3.5.  Haversianís canal

10.3.6.  epiphyseal plate

10.3.7.  diaphysis

10.3.8.  epiphysis

10.4.                    Describe the difference between osteoblasts and osteoclasts is.

10.5.                    Identify what would encourage the activity of osteoblasts and osteoclasts

10.6.                    Identify  how the activity of the osteoblasts and osteoclasts affects Ca++ level in the blood

10.7.                    Describe the functions of parathyroid hormone and calcitonin

10.8.                    Identify which cells are responsible for bone remodeling.


11.1.                    Describe the functions of the skin.

11.2.                    List  the layers of skin:  epidermis, dermis, hypodermis

11.3.                    Describe how nutrients travel to the upper layers of the skin

11.4.                    Identify the primary tissue types of each layer.

11.5.                    Describe where sensory receptors are found (hair, epidermis etc)

11.6.                    Describe how the skin functions in thermoregulation.

11.7.                    Describe what happens when the body is cold

11.8.                    Describe what happens when the body is hot.

11.9.                    Describe the difference between first, second, & third degree burns.

11.10.                Describe what homeostatic determinations a physician can make by looking at the color of the skin.

12.  CELLS

12.1.                    Identify which molecules make up the cell membrane

12.2.                    Describe how the following mechanisms work and what factors affect them.

12.2.1.  diffusion

12.2.2.  facilitated diffusion

12.2.3.   active transport

12.2.4.  pinocytosis

12.2.5.  phagocytosis

12.2.6.  osmosis

12.3.                    Describe the similarities and differences between diffusion, facilitated diffusion, and active transport.

12.4.                    Describe which process requires energy and which do not.

12.5.                    Describe what selectively permeable means.

12.6.                    Describe how an enzyme works

12.7.                    Describe what organelles are


13.1.                    Describe what is meant be increasing order of complexity (atom-molecule etc)

13.2.                    Describe what homeostasis means and be able apply some of the mechanisms that maintain homeostasis.

13.3.                    Describe how negative and positive feedback work.