A study has been made of the modifications of the shape of a nerve action potential dependent upon the placement of the two electrodes, always necessary for a lead. In a classic diphasic lead separation of the electrodes brings out, in addition to a separation of the phases, the appearance of a positive deflection traceable to the passage of an impulse between the electrodes. This phenomenon, called the lead separation effect (1.s.e.), must be considered as an expression of a feature of normal nerve fiber biophysics. It regularly appears and it can be analyzed with respect to the position of the sink maximum. Also it cannot be eliminated by a block at the second electrode.
The advantage of approximating the leads was shown by the absence of a 1.s.e. following spikes recorded by electronic integration of tangents, which with validity can be derived from threshold fibers. Since tangent leads are not adaptable to recording a spectrum, a block at the second electrode is required. The making of such blocks and the configuration of records obtained with them are described. Conditions for an optimal lead, but not an ideal lead, were delimited. In an optimal lead only two major elevations appear in the spectrum of a skin nerve: those known as alpha and delta. A reference to maps of fiber size analyses shows that the fibers in the delta elevation have velocities of conduction slower than they would have if following in linear sequence the fiber diameters belonging to the alpha elevation.