In order to study the motor unit action potential a computer simulation model was developed. It is based on the superposition of single muscle fibre potentials of the fibres belonging to the motor unit. The parameters which characterize each fibre (spatial position, diameter, and a dispersion of arrival time of the potential at the electrode) are chosen from statistical distributions which can be derived from anatomical and physiological data. The electrode type, position and dimensions can be specified. Simulated motor unit action potentials are presented in the time and frequency domain. The simulation results refer to (1) the influence of the electrode position and dimensions with respect to the motor unit territory, (2) the meaning of this model for the study of pathological phenomena, (3) the variability of some parameters characterizing the motor unit, (4) the selectivity of uni- and bipolar electrodes and finally (5) the influence of the geometrical situation of the motor end-plates within the muscle, on the shape of motor unit action potentials.