Action potential, in neuroscience, refers to the waves of electrical energy that travel through nerve cells. It’s the basic method by which one neuron affects another.
This post on Mind Hacks led to an original interpretation of the action potential. Dana Kotler and Joy Gibson, med students at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, created this. (They happen to be dancers as well.)
For a more conventional, more thorough (albeit slower-paced) explanation, here’s a
Flash animation. (It took me two viewings to realize that if I didn’t keep clicking the next-page controls, the animation would move along on its own. Not that you needed this advice…)
The animation is one of several available from the Life Sciences / HMMI outreach program at Harvard.