refractory period
noun Date: circa 1880 the brief period immediately following the response especially of a muscle or nerve before it recovers the capacity to make a second response — called also refractory phase

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

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  • refractory period — n the brief period immediately following the response esp. of a muscle or nerve before it recovers the capacity to make a second response called also refractory phase see ABSOLUTE REFRACTORY PERIOD, RELATIVE REFRACTORY PERIOD * * * (in …   Medical dictionary

  • Refractory period — In physiology, a refractory period is a period of time during which an organ or cell is incapable of repeating a particular action, or (more precisely) the amount of time it takes for an excitable membrane to be ready for a second stimulus once… …   Wikipedia

  • refractory period — Most commonly used in reference to the interval (typically 1ms) after the passage of an action potential during which an axon is incapable of responding to another. This is caused by inactivation of the sodium channels after opening. The maximum… …   Dictionary of molecular biology

  • refractory period — (in neurology) the time of recovery needed for a nerve cell that has just transmitted a nerve impulse or for a muscle fibre that has just contracted. During the refractory period a normal stimulus will not bring about excitation of the cell,… …   The new mediacal dictionary

  • refractory period — Physiol. a short period after a nerve or muscle cell fires during which the cell cannot respond to additional stimulation. [1875 80] * * * …   Universalium

  • refractory period — noun a) The period, after excitation, during which a membrane recovers it polarization and is not able to respond to a second stimulus b) a recovery phase after orgasm during which it is physiologically impossible for an individual to have… …   Wiktionary

  • refractory period — noun (neurology) the time after a neuron fires or a muscle fiber contracts during which a stimulus will not evoke a response • Topics: ↑neurology • Hypernyms: ↑biological time …   Useful english dictionary

  • Refractory period (sex) — In sexuality, the refractory period is the recovery phase after orgasm during which it is physiologically impossible for an individual to have additional orgasms. It is also sometimes defined as the time immediately following orgasm during which… …   Wikipedia

  • absolute refractory period — n the period immediately following the firing of a nerve fiber when it cannot be stimulated no matter how great a stimulus is applied called also absolute refractory phase compare RELATIVE REFRACTORY PERIOD * * * the portion of the refractory… …   Medical dictionary

  • relative refractory period — n the period shortly after the firing of a nerve fiber when partial repolarization has occurred and a greater than normal stimulus can stimulate a second response called also relative refractory phase compare ABSOLUTE REFRACTORY PERIOD * * * the… …   Medical dictionary

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