how is there electrical activity in your heart?

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Whenever I hear ‘electrical signals’ in terms of the heart’s function, I get completely lost. Is this actual electricity or just a term for brain signals? Or are brain signals electrical? Thanks

In: Biology

3 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

Nerve impulses, what you are calling “brain signals”, are electrical but very different from the electricity you’re used to. They are like electrical chain reactions, powered by moving ions. Almost like a long chain of batteries hooked together, each causing the next one to connect.

The result does include moving electricity, it just isn’t as simple as connecting a battery to a long wire.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Nerve signals and brain signals have an electric component, but it’s not like the heart’s electrical signals. The heart uses much stronger signals to directly flex the muscles inside the walls of the heart.

The “heartbeat” wave is self-regulating, and it’s not controlled by the brain. It can be disrupted, with common arrhythmias like atrial fibrillation, flutters or PSVT. That’s how an external shock can reset the heart to proper rhythm, and the same sort of thing doesn’t “reboot” the brain.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Nerves and muscles use electricity to function, but on a microscopic scale

Electricity is a difference in electrical potential, and nerve/muscle cells generate this by pumping positively charged ions like sodium and potassium across a membrane, leading to one side having a slightly more positive charge.

When enough of a charge is generated, it causes the muscle to contract. Shortly after, the ions are re-balanced and can prepare for another contraction