Neurotransmitter Lab

Last week in our sports medicine class, we learned a lot about neurotransmitters and their role in the body! We conducted a super interesting lab.

The purpose of this lab was to broaden our knowledge on different pairs of muscles within our own bodies. It is also to show the electrical and chemical signals your brain uses to tell muscles to move.

This lab had a ton of extremely interesting background knowledge. The process of moving any muscle is extremely complex and intricate. There are over 600 muscles in the body and in order to make them move, the brain has to send signals down ones spinal chord and then to different muscle fibers. It explained to us how, when flexing, the triceps were antagonist and the biceps are agonist. This is because the more relaxed muscle when flexing is the antagonist while the contradicting muscle is the agonist. In our experiment, we focused more closely to our arms and how different muscles were used for different movements.

This background knowledge gave us the foundation for how to conduct this experiment. the procedure steps are listed as follows:

  1. put 2 electrode patches on the back of an individuals hand, triceps, and biceps.
  2. put a black and a red clip each on both the triceps and biceps
  3. put white clips onto the back of the hand
  4. download a software onto your computer or on your phone to help get data.
  5. Connect the stereo to the audio jacks and connect the other to your phone
  6. do a variety of arm movements and notice the difference in the data on your app!
    1. this could be arm waving, pushups, arm wrestling a friend, flexing, etc

The technology this day was not in our favor and unfortunately the software on our apps were not working! This prevented us from conducting our experiment. This was a huge bummer but even from our background knowledge and comparison to other similar experiments, we are still able to draw some conclusions:

  • The movement of flexing one’s arm is very similar to that of extending one’s arm
    • when flexing, bicep is agonist and the tricep is antagonist. Extending arm is the exact opposite
  • the EKG technology shows observers which is the antagonist and which is the agonist by the different spikes it makes. (antagonist spikes are smaller).

This was a super interesting lab! Here are some pictures below of what it was like during the experiment 🙂 IMG_4879.jpgIMG_4878.jpg

2 thoughts on “Neurotransmitter Lab

  1. Hi Meaghan,
    I loved working on this project with you! I loved how you shared that there are over 600 muscles in your body! You gave a very good background about the muscles, and the relationship with agonist and antagonist muscles! I really enjoyed reading your post and your perspective on the lab!
    Thanks for sharing!!


  2. Hey Meaghan,
    You gave a very in depth description of the project and what we were doing in class. You also clearly explained the different types of muscles and how they work together. Thanks for being my lab partner, you were great! 🙂


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