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Animal Physiology

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in the lab and at home

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Lt LabStation

Course access in lab setting only

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lab protocols

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Curriculum based modules


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recording experience

Advanced experimental protocols

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PV Loop and Spike Sorting

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Animal Physiology with Lt

Using Lt, zoology and physiology students can investigate basic and applied concepts in neuro and muscle physiology. Courses are designed with common undergraduate insect, annelid, amphibian and mammalian preparations.

  • A Lt page showing a lesson about muscle structure

    Skeletal Muscle Structure
  • A Lt page showing a lesson about compound nerve action potentials

    Compound Nerve Action Potentials

The Otago Polytechnic School of Nursing uses Lt to increase student engagement and improve pass rates.

Sign up for a free trial to experience Lt. Get instant access to Animal Physiology lessons and more.

Click on a lesson name for a synopsis and equipment list or scroll down to see all hardware,
including pre-made systems and kits for your subject area.

+Animal Metabolism

Students are introduced to indirect calorimetry using a Gas Analyzer and PowerLab to record metabolic variables. These are then used to determine the metabolic rate and the respiratory exchange ratio (RER), which is a good estimate of the respiratory quotient (RQ).

This lesson requires one of the PowerLabs below

+Earthworm Smooth Muscle

Students investigate the responses of smooth muscle to neurotransmitters, temperature, and ions. The earthworm (Lumbricus terrestris) gut provides a robust smooth muscle preparation that can be mounted in an organ bath and attached to a force transducer. This arrangement will enable students to measure contraction rate and force.

This lesson requires one of the PowerLabs below

Products required for this lesson

+Frog Heart

Explore the basic principles of cardiac muscle physiology, including contraction force, electrocardiogram (ECG) and the effect of neurotransmitters on the heart. Students also apply the Frank-Starling law of the heart to explain the relationship between stretch of cardiac muscle and the force of contraction.

This lesson requires one of the PowerLabs below

+Frog Skeletal Muscle

Students will learn about these properties of skeletal muscle: twitch recruitment, effects of muscle stretch, summation, tetanus, and fatigue. The experiment is carried out using an isolated frog gastrocnemius muscle.

This lesson requires one of the PowerLabs below

+Cockroach Sensory Nerve

Students record compound action potentials (CAPs) from a cockroach leg nerve in response to various physical stimuli. Students examine CAP amplitudes and frequency, and identify different “classes” of CAP that represent different individual axons.

This lesson requires one of the PowerLabs below

+Cockroach Ventral Nerve

Students record extracellular action potentials from the ventral nerve cord of a large cockroach, or similar insect. Spontaneous activity, and different types of stimuli, (including tapping the bench, clapping, air puffs, and touching), are compared and analyzed using frequency histograms. Students will also determine the nerve conduction velocity of the ventral nerve.

This lesson requires one of the PowerLabs below

+Earthworm Action Potentials

Obtain extracellular recordings of action potentials from an anesthetized earthworm to examine the threshold potential, the all-or-none response, the refractory period, and the conduction velocity of the nerve.

This lesson requires one of the PowerLabs below

+Frog Nerve

Students measure compound action potentials (CAPs) from an isolated frog sciatic nerve to explore the basic physiological properties of nerve impulses, including the threshold, refractory period, and conduction velocity.

This lesson requires one of the PowerLabs below

Products required for this lesson

+Frog Neuromuscular Junction

Students investigate the relationship between skeletal muscle and motor nerve supply. Using an isolated frog gastrocnemius and sciatic nerve students will explore twitch recruitment, muscle fatigue, and the effects of tubocurarine.

This lesson requires one of the PowerLabs below

+Intracellular Action Potentials

Students make intracellular recordings from neurons in a leech ganglion. They will become familiar with an intracellular amplifier, and with the use for glass microelectrodes. Students will record and analyze both resting potentials and action potentials, of different neuronal cell types.

Please note, additional electrodes and electrode holders may be needed for this experiment.

This lesson requires one of the PowerLabs below

+Getting Started with Lt

In this module students learn how to record and analyze data in Lt. A "Pre-Lab" lesson shows students what to expect in Lt labs and lets them explore the types of signals they might record. They also practice their data analysis skills prior to the lab, where they record and analyze their own pulse.

Software Platform

Lt is a cloud-based learning platform that bridges the gap between theory and practice.


Over 340 fully editable nursing, medicine and physiology lessons.


Create, customize and deliver your own interactive content that students can access anywhere.


Students can record and analyze physiological signals in Lt using PowerLab, to reinforce theory through experimentation.


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