- Stimulation of neuron by chemical, light, heat, or mechanical distortion.
- Stimulation alters permeability of various ions thus leading to a change in resting membrane potential. Increased Na+ permeability results in a depolarization. Increased K+ or Cl- permeability results in a hyperpolarization.
- Local potentials are graded; that is, they vary in magnitude.
- Local potentials are decremental; that is they get weaker the farther they spread from the point of stimulation.
- Local potentials are reversible. If the stimulation ceases, the membrane potential drifts back to resting membrane potential without affecting the cell.