Hodgkin-Huxley Neuron Model

Manuel Hernandez
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign,
Author Profile


In this lab activity, students will gain a better understanding of the factors underlying the generation of an action potential.

Used this activity? Share your experiences and modifications

Learning Goals

Students will 1) describe parameters involved in simulating an action potential; 2) generate a hypothesis about the behavior of the system; 3) analyze the effect of stimulus intensity, reversal potential, and conductance.

Context for Use

Thus activity is designed for a small interdisciplinary class of first year graduate students and needs at least 2 hours for completion. Students need experience with MATLAB, numerical integration, plotting, programming, and neuroscience. This activity is provided early in the semester as an introduction to seminal models in neuroscience and biomechanics.

Description and Teaching Materials

The activity begins with a brief discussion on the hodgkin-huxley model based on a provided reading.

Students begin lab worksheet, and check in with facilitator at different checkpoints through the activity. Questions are answered as a group.

Teaching Notes and Tips

Common areas of confusion are identification of parameters, and coding needed for parameter analysis.


If students complete all questions in the activity, they have met the goals of the activity.

References and Resources