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Leah Bonnell's picture

Reaction Time

I remember learning about the concept of reaction time in physics class, but never understood the biology behind it. From what we learned in class I would assume that reaction time results from the time it takes for an action potential to travel down an axon.

I think reaction time connects to the exercise we did in class where we proved through a computer program that it takes time to think. If thinking involves neurons, then it must also involve action potentials, which take time to travel. 

Thinking about reaction time has raised a few questions for me. I know that reaction time is different in every person (and animal) and that one person can have several different reaction times to the same stimulus. But, I wonder why? Can the action potentials travel at different speeds? 

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