General bibliography on action potential theory

Two general introductory biology textbooks, covering the excitability of neurons and muscles are (Matthews, 2002) and (Keynes et al., 2011). The biophysics and modeling of neurons are covered in (Johnston and Wu, 1994) and (Sterratt et al., 2011). Both are quite accessible and include all essential material including compartmental modeling of dendrites.

There is a great book that covers many topics in cell biology from a physicist perspective, including excitability: Physical biology of the cell (Phillips et al., 2008).

There are two excellent reviews by Hodgkin that are particularly useful to understand the experimental basis of Hodgkin-Huxley theory, including myelinated axons: (Hodgkin, 1951, 1964).

The reference textbook for the biophysics ionic channels is (Hille, 2001). (Johnston and Wu, 1994) also includes some material about stochastic analysis of channels.

Linear cable theory is covered in great detail in (Tuckwell, 1988) and (Koch, 1999). An excellent review by one of the historical figures of cable theory is (Rall, 2011). (Jack et al., 1975) also covers cable theory including active axonal conduction, and it also includes muscle APs and their propagation and classic theory of excitability (threshold).

Theory of electro-osmosis (interaction between osmosis and electrical field) is treated in (Hoppensteadt and Peskin, 2004).


Hille B (2001) Ion Channels of Excitable Membranes. Sinauer Associates.

Hodgkin AL (1951) The Ionic Basis of Electrical Activity in Nerve and Muscle. Biological Reviews 26:339–409.

Hodgkin AL (1964) The conduction of the nervous impulse. C. C. Thomas.

Hoppensteadt FC, Peskin C (2004) Modeling and Simulation in Medicine and the Life Sciences, 2nd edition. New York: Springer.

Jack JB, Noble D, Tsien R (1975) Electric Current Flow in Excitable Cells. Oxford: OUP Australia and New Zealand.

Johnston D, Wu SM-S (1994) Foundations of Cellular Neurophysiology, 1 edition. Cambridge, Mass: A Bradford Book.

Keynes RD, Aidley DJ, Huang CL-H (2011) Nerve and Muscle, 4 edition. Cambridge ; New York: Cambridge University Press.

Koch C (1999) Biophysics of computation: Information processing in single neurons. Oxford University Press, USA.

Matthews GG (2002) Cellular Physiology of Nerve and Muscle, 4 edition. Osney Mead, Oxford ; Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

Phillips R, Kondev J, Theriot J (2008) Physical Biology of the Cell, 1 edition. New York: Garland Science.

Rall W (2011) Core Conductor Theory and Cable Properties of Neurons. In: Comprehensive Physiology. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Sterratt D, Graham B, Gillies DA, Willshaw D (2011) Principles of Computational Modelling in Neuroscience, 1 edition. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press.

Tuckwell H (1988) Introduction to theoretical neurobiology, vol 1: linear cable theory and dendritic structure. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


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