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Nerve fibre velocity and refractory period distributions in nerve trunks.
  1. R P Betts,
  2. D M Johnston,
  3. B H Brown


    With the use of a double stimulus technique, nerve fibre velocity range measurements were performed over a single conduction distance in 13 normal subjects and over two conduction distances in another 12 normal subjects. The velocity ranges were found to be dependent upon the conduction distance, owing to unknown refractory period delays. Refractory period values were calculated for the 12 subjects and also direct refractory period distribution measurements were made on 15 normal subjects using a twin stimulus and automatic subtraction technique. Corrections to the velocity range measurements were made upon differing assumptions as to the correlation between refractory period and fibre conduction velocity. It was concluded that a single median value refractory period obtained from the distribution was the best correction to use, based upon the hypothesis that for group A fibres the random scatter of refractory period values is far greater than any variation due to a correlation between refractory period and fibre conduction velocity. It was found important to recognize that calculated values of velocity range are a function not only of the spread of fibre conduction velocities but also of refractory periods.

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