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When ionotropic receptors are activated, certain ion species such as Na to enter the postsynaptic neuron, which depolarizes the postsynaptic membrane.
If more of the same type of postsynaptic receptors are activated, then more Na will enter the postsynaptic membrane and depolarize cell.
Ionotropic receptors are a combination of a receptor and an ion channel.
As the rising phase reaches its peak, voltage-gated Na channels are inactivated whereas voltage-gated K channels are activated, resulting in a net outward movement of K ions, which repolarizes the membrane potential towards the resting membrane potential.
Repolarization of the membrane potential continues, resulting in an undershoot phase or absolute refractory period.
The undershoot phase occurs because unlike voltage-gated sodium channels, voltage-gated potassium channels inactivate much more slowly.
Nevertheless, as more voltage-gated K channels become inactivated, the membrane potential recovers to its normal resting steady state..
Several techniques such as intracellular recording, patch-clamp, and voltage-clamp technique, pharmacology, confocal imaging, molecular biology, two photon laser scanning microscopy and Ca2 imaging have been used to study activity at the cellular level.