All or nothing response
All or nothing response | A term often used to describe the action potential of nerve cells. An all or nothing response is either of full intensity or completely absent. The response is dependent upon the strength of the stimulus; there is no intermediate or partial response.
e.g. a nerve cell is either stimulated to transmit a complete nervous impulse or not and remains in its resting state.
Note. The action potentials in nerve cells are of fixed, identical size, and a stimulus will either trigger an action potential of a fixed size or not trigger an impulse at all. It is important to understand that a bigger stimulus does not result in a larger action potential. Thus, a bigger stimulus triggers a higher frequency of nerve impulses. conversely, a small stimulus that triggers an action potential triggers a lower frequency of nerve impulses.
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