One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Composed of discrete units; varying in steps rather than continuously.‘a quantal release of neurotransmitter’
- ‘The fact that similar step sizes are found in independent experimental approaches using different methodologies implies that the quantal stepping mechanism is a central feature of the contractile process.’
- ‘Although these results do not definitively pinpoint the source of the steps, they confirm the earlier hypothesis that shortening is quantal.’
- ‘Expression of tetanus toxin is known to reduce the frequency of spontaneous quantal release.’
- ‘The number of receptors opened following quantal release may vary directly with the total number of receptors at the synapse, but other, more complex, interactions may occur.’
- ‘Ideally, this requires the identification of peaks in the histogram at a spacing of one quantal unit.’
- 1.1Physics Relating to a quantum or quanta, or to quantum theory.
- ‘In this experiment UV + and UV - filters were chosen to yield equal quantal transmittance despite the difference in transmitted wavelengths.’
- 1.2Physiology Relating to or denoting an all-or-none response or state.
- ‘In this case, the quantal amplitude of postsynaptic response strongly depends on the number of accessible postsynaptic receptors in the vicinity of the release sites.’
- ‘Furthermore, it allows one to calculate the apparent quantal size for each response in a sequence of stimuli.’
- ‘If the random number was smaller, a release event took place, the site was set to the empty state, and the size of the quantal response was determined as described below.’
- ‘However the neighboring peaks can merge because of variability of quantal response.’
- ‘The extrasynaptic receptors that are exposed to a much lower concentration of agonist and are not saturated may substantially enhance the quantal synaptic response.’
Early 20th century: from quantum + -al.
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