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Ch 21: Nerve, Muscle & Specialized Cell Types

About This Chapter

Prepare for the MCAT by reviewing nerve, muscle and specialized cell types. Through video lessons and self-assessment quizzes, you can learn key concepts and practice answering the types of questions you'll see on exam day.

MCAT Biological Science - Biology: Nerve, Muscle & Specialized Cell Types

The eleven lessons in this chapter on nerve, muscle & specialized cell types provide detailed instruction on the following topics:

  • Neurons
  • The myelin sheath, Schwann cells and nodes of ranvier
  • Neuroglia
  • Muscle contraction
  • The Sarcomere and sliding filaments in muscular contraction
  • Skeletal muscle fibers
  • Multicellular organisms, tissues and epithelium
  • Endothelial cells
  • Fibrous and loose connective tissue
  • Bone and adipose tissue

The achieve your best score on the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), you'll need to show proficiency in the subject of biological science. Strong test-taking skills are also necessary for success on the exam. You can focus on acquiring these skills with the video lessons and quizzes in this chapter.

MCAT Biological Science - Biology: Nerve, Muscle & Specialized Cell Types

The MCAT assesses your competency with problem-solving and analytical skills needed for a career in medicine, and the test is required for admission to health professions programs. The subject of nerve, muscle and specialized cell types is a part of the MCAT's Biological Sciences category, and you'll need a background in basic biology and organic chemistry to perform well on this part of the exam. The following chapter objectives will help you meet your learning goals:

  • Mapping the structure and function of neurons, adipose tissue and loose connective tissue
  • Identifying the types and functions of skeletal muscle fibers, fibrous connective tissue and bone tissue
  • Understanding actin and myosin bonding
  • Recognizing the structures of the sarcomere and sliding filaments in muscular contraction
  • Defining neuroglia

The MCAT has all multiple-choice questions, and 52 of those questions are about biological sciences. The greatest portion of the Biological Sciences section involves seven reading passages with 39 total corresponding questions. You'll also find 13 questions related to research and problem solving.

9 Lessons in Chapter 21: Nerve, Muscle & Specialized Cell Types
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
The Structure and Function of Neurons

1. The Structure and Function of Neurons

In this video lesson, you'll learn about neurons, which are specialized cells in the nervous system. Check out how far neurons can send signals throughout the body and how depolarization is much like 'the wave' at a football game.

The Myelin Sheath, Schwann Cells & Nodes of Ranvier

2. The Myelin Sheath, Schwann Cells & Nodes of Ranvier

The myelin sheath is an essential part of our nervous system. Learn more about this neuron component, explore the nodes of Ranvier, and discover why Schwann cells are crucial for neuron survival.

Neuroglia: Function & Definition

3. Neuroglia: Function & Definition

In this lesson, you'll learn about the unsung heroes of your nervous system. These cells don't get a lot of attention, but without them, it would be difficult for your neurons to do their job and protect themselves against invaders.

Muscle Contraction: Actin and Myosin Bonding

4. Muscle Contraction: Actin and Myosin Bonding

Muscles contract through the action of two proteins called actin and myosin. In this lesson, you'll learn how actin and myosin filaments, in concert with regulatory proteins tropomyosin and troponin, control your voluntary movements.

The Sarcomere and Sliding Filaments in Muscular Contraction: Definition and Structures

5. The Sarcomere and Sliding Filaments in Muscular Contraction: Definition and Structures

Did you know that a sarcomere is the fundamental functional unit of striated muscle? This lesson describes the thick and thin filaments of a sarcomere and how they interact with each other to cause sarcomere shortening and muscular contraction.

Skeletal Muscle Fibers: Types and Functions

6. Skeletal Muscle Fibers: Types and Functions

Did you know most human muscles contain a mixture of fast, slow and intermediate fibers? This lesson describes the structure and function of the three muscle fiber types found in humans.

Multicellular Organisms, Tissues and Epithelium

7. Multicellular Organisms, Tissues and Epithelium

In this lesson on multicellular organisms, you'll take a look at what it actually means to be multicellular and how cells are organized into tissues, organs, and organ systems. This lesson also covers one of the four main tissue types: epithelial tissue.

Fibrous Connective Tissue: Function & Types

8. Fibrous Connective Tissue: Function & Types

In this lesson, you'll learn about a specific type of connective tissue called fibrous connective tissue. You'll also discover the other specialized fibrous connective tissues: tendons, ligaments and fasciae.

Adipose Tissue and Loose Connective Tissue: Functions and Structures

9. Adipose Tissue and Loose Connective Tissue: Functions and Structures

This lesson explores the structure and function of two types of connective tissue: adipose tissue and loose connective tissue. You'll learn about the cells and fibers that make up each tissue and explore how these structures help our body function.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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