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Lt LabStation

Animal Physiology

Using Lt LabStation, 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.

Pre Lab Prep

Pre-Lab Prep

This lesson is designed to be used before the Lab. Questions have been set to allow multiple attempts for formative assessment. However, it is very simple to change the setting so that students may make only one attempt and their answers can be graded.
Independent learning (30 minutes)

Lab

Lab

This lesson includes a Challenge page to get the learners thinking about the main point of each exercise. Each exercise has an activity and an analysis page with questions to check their understanding. These check your understanding questions allow single attempts.
Group work (2 hours)

Collection

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Lessons

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Animal Metabolism

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In this lab, learners 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).

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Cockroach Sensory Nerve

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

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Cockroach Ventral Nerve Cord

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In this lab, learners record extracellular action potentials from the ventral nerve cord of a 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. Learners also determine the nerve conduction velocity of the ventral nerve.

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Earthworm Action Potentials

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In this lab, learners obtain extracellular recordings of action potentials from an anesthetized earthworm (Lumbricus terrestris). They examine the threshold voltage required to evoke an action potential, first in the median fiber, and then in the lateral fibers. They also examine the “all-or-none’ response, the refractory period, and the conduction velocity of the median nerve.

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Earthworm Smooth Muscle

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In this lab, learners investigate some of the responses of smooth muscle to neurotransmitters, temperature, and ions. The earthworm (Lumbricus terrestris species) gut provides a robust smooth muscle preparation that can be mounted in an organ bath and attached to a force transducer. This arrangement enables learners to measure contraction rate and force.

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Frog Heart

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In this lab, learners measure some of the basic physiological properties of cardiac muscle from an in situ frog heart including contraction force, electrocardiogram (ECG). Learners also apply the Frank-Starling law of the heart to explain the relationship between stretch of cardiac muscle and the force of contraction.

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Frog Nerve

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In this lab, learners 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.

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Frog Neuromuscular Junction

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In this lab, learners explore the relationship between skeletal muscle and motor nerve supply. They use an isolated frog gastrocnemius with an intact sciatic nerve to explore twitch recruitment, muscle fatigue, and the effects of tubocurarine.

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Frog Skeletal Muscle

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In this lab, learners explore the following 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.

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Gin Trap Closure Reflex

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In this lab, learners will become familiar with administering tactile stimulation to Manduca sexta larvae and pupae. They record and analyze EMG data from a pupal preparation that they have set up themselves.

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Intracellular Action Potentials

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

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