Facilitation

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Facilitation

 

in physiology, the intensification of a response to a simultaneous or preliminary stimulation of different parts of the same or another area or the sensory nerve fibers proceeding from the receptor. In facilitation based on an increase in excitability, a single stimulation increases the efficacy of a subsequent stimulation by paving the way for it. One stimulation thus facilitates another (hence the origin of the term). As a result of facilitation, subliminal stimulation, which by itself does not elicit a response, begins to have an effect when excitation develops in new focal centers. For example, the weak stimulation of the skin of a rabbit, insufficient to elicit a motor response, provokes a reflex upon the simultaneous electrical stimulation of the motor center of the brain’s cortex, which also does not produce an effect by itself. The concept of facilitation in the central nervous system was introduced in 1882 by the German physiologist S. Exner, who called the phenomenon Bahnung (German; “facilitation”). I. P. Pavlov noted that facilitation contributes to the formation of conditioned reflexes. If a temporary connection is established, facilitation occurs between two foci of excitation in the cortex of the cerebral hemispheres as a reaction to conditioned and unconditioned stimuli.

References in periodicals archive ?
Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation encompasses all aspects of the rehabilitation process--and can help patients with various dysfunctions achieve their goals (Scifers, 2004, http://physicaltherapy.
Acute effect of static stretching, proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation stretching, and maximum voluntary contraction on explosive force production and jump performance.
For peak power, significant differences were observed between more comparisons, with proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation stretching providing the lowest result.
Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation, together with progressive strengthening exercises, restores muscle strength and functional use of the limb.
Today, it is common to use different stretching techniques and, in particular, the use of proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) is commonly used to lengthen the musculotendinous unit and as a result increasing the range of motion of a specific joint (22).
The most common approaches are the static, dynamic, and proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) methods.
Changes in alpha and gamma motor neuron activity (influencing the hamstring muscles) at a segmental level are likely following this technique, similar to those effects observed following the implementation of proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation techniques when stretching muscles (Guissard, Duchateau et al.
These studies used a variety of stretching techniques, namely static, ballistic, and proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF), the latter involving variations of the contract-relax technique reviewed by Shrier and Gossal.