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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use action potential in a sentence
That may or may not result in a spike, or action potential, going out on the neuron’s axon to the dendrites of post-synaptic neurons.Artificial Neural Nets Finally Yield Clues to How Brains Learn | Anil Ananthaswamy | February 18, 2021 | Quanta Magazine
British Dictionary definitions for action potential
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 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Scientific definitions for action potential
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 © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Cultural definitions for action potential
The rapid change in electric potential that parts of a nerve cell undergo when a nerve impulse is generated. Unlike ordinary electric current (see also current), which consists of the flow of electrons, the action potential involves the movement of sodium and potassium ions across the cell membrane.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.