Simulation of the interaction between muscle fiber conduction velocity and instantaneous firing rate

Emma Fortune, Madeleine M. Lowery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this study, the relationships between the early and late afterpotentials and velocity and amplitude recovery functions (VRF and ARF) in skeletal muscle were examined using model simulation. A mathematical model of the muscle fiber action potential, that incorporated a tubular slow potassium conductance, was developed and used to simulate muscle fiber action potentials at a range of interpulse intervals. The slow potassium conductance produced an afterhyperpolarization which resulted in supernormal action potential conduction velocity and amplitude for interpulse intervals >7 ms. Increasing the number of conditioning stimuli caused a further increase in conduction velocity and amplitude, and an additional phase of supernormality, with a peak at approximately 100 ms. Positive correlations between instantaneous firing rate and both conduction velocity and amplitude were also observed during simulation of repetitive stimulation of the muscle fiber. The relationships were eliminated when the slow potassium conductance channel was removed from the model. The results suggest that an afterhyperpolarization, possibly due to a slow tubular potassium conductance, could cause the VRF and ARF observed in muscle. They additionally suggest that the positive correlations between instantaneous firing rate, conduction velocity, and amplitude are directly related to the VRF and ARF.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)96-109
Number of pages14
JournalAnnals of Biomedical Engineering
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011


  • Afterhyperpolarization
  • Mathematical model
  • Muscle fiber conduction velocity
  • Slow potassium conductance
  • Velocity recovery function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering


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