Publications and Research

Document Type


Publication Date

May 1966


Temperature characteristics of excitability in the squid giant axon were measured for the space-clamped axon with the double sucrose gap technique. Threshold strength-duration curves were obtained for square wave current pulses from 10 µsec to 10 msec and at temperatures from 5°C to 35°C. The threshold change of potential, at which an action potential separated from a subthreshold response, averaged 17 mv at 20°C with a Q10 of 1.15. The average threshold current density at rheobase was 12 µa/cm2 at 20°C with a Q10 of 2.35 compared to 2.3 obtained previously. At short times the threshold charge was 1.5·10-8 coul/cm2. This was relatively independent of temperature and occasionally showed a minimum in the temperature range. At intermediate times and all temperatures the threshold currents were less than for both the single time constant model and the two factor excitation process as developed by Hill. FitzHugh has made computer investigations of the effect of temperature on the excitation of the squid axon membrane as represented by the Hodgkin-Huxley equations. These are in general in good agreement with our experimental results.


This work was originally published in The Journal of General Physiology.



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