MadSci Network: Neuroscience

Subject: How fast are nerve signals?

Date: Wed Jun 23 11:02:12 1999
Posted by Janelle Carroll
Grade level: teacher/prof School: Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum
City: Ann Arbor State/Province: MI Country: USA
Area of science: Neuroscience
ID: 930153732.Ns

I am an informal educator at a science museum.  We have an 
exhibit that measures your reaction time--there is a hanging 
meter stick which starts to fall when a bell rings/light goes off 
and you are supposed to grab the stick as fast as you can to 
measure the time it takes you to respond to the stimuli.  I was 
explaining to a student that nerve signals are fast, but not 
instantaneous and that it takes time for your brain to respond.  
Of course, I set myself up for the child to ask how fast nerve 
signals travel, and he did and I don't know.  I told him it was 
not as fast as electricity or sound and much slower than light, 
but I would like to have a better answer the next time someone 
asks.  So, how fast do nerve signal

Re: How fast are nerve signals?

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