2014 Neural Communication

Refractory periods

Critical fact icon
The cell membrane cannot immediately produce a second AP. The period of time when the majority of voltage-gated Na+ channels are inactivated defines the ABSOLUTE REFRACTORY PERIOD, when no amount of depolarizing current can cause an action potential. As voltage-gated Na+ channels transition from the inactivated to the closed state (i.e., they become capable of being activated), the membrane becomes capable of supporting a 2nd action potential - this period is called the RELATIVE REFRACTORY PERIOD.

During the relative refractory period:

Email: Dr. Janet Fitzakerley | ©2014 University of Minnesota Medical School Duluth | Last modified: 12-nov-14 10:18 AM