Glossary of Medical Terms

Our online medical glossary of medical terms and definitions includes definitions for terms related to treatment, and general medicine

OVERSHOOT

1. Usually, any initial change, in response to a sudden step change in some factor, that is greater than the steady-state response to the new level of that factor; general in systems in which inertia or a time lag in negative feedback outweighs any damping that may be gift. Changes in a negative direction are sometimes distinguished by the term undershoot, and the two may alternate in an oscillatory fashion, as in the transient oscillations of a pendulum when released from an initial displacement. 2. Momentary reversal of the membrane potential of a cell (inside becoming positive rather than negative relative to the outside) during an action potential; considered a form of overshoot because, till discovery of overshoot, excitation was thought merely to depolarise the membrane to nought transmembrane potential.
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