action-potential

action potential

noun Physiology.
the change in electrical potential that occurs between the inside and outside of a nerve or muscle fiber when it is stimulated, serving to transmit nerve signals.
Compare nerve impulse.


Origin:
1925–30

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World English Dictionary
action potential
 
n
a localized change in electrical potential, from about --70 mV to +30 mV and back again, that occurs across a nerve fibre during transmission of a nerve impulse

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

action potential n.
The change in membrane potential occurring in nerve, muscle, or other excitable tissue when excitation occurs.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
action potential   (āk'shən)  Pronunciation Key 
A momentary change in electrical potential on the surface of a neuron or muscle cell. Nerve impulses are action potentials. They either stimulate a change in polarity in another neuron or cause a muscle cell to contract.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

action potential definition


The rapid change in electric potential that parts of a nerve cell undergo when a nerve impulse is generated. Unlike ordinary electric current, which consists of the flow of electrons, the action potential involves the movement of sodium and potassium ions across the cell membrane.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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