function (fungk´shun)

1. The special action or physiologic property of an organ or other part of the body. 2. To perform its special work or office, said of an organ or other part of the body. 3. The general properties of any substance, depending on its chemical character and relation to other substances, according to which it may be grouped among acids, bases, alcohols, esters, etc. 4. A particular reactive grouping in a molecule; e.g., a functional group, such as the -OH group of an alcohol. 5. A quality, trait, or fact that is so related to another as to be dependent upon and to vary with this other. [L. functio, fr. fungor, pp. functus, to perform]
allomeric f. the combined f. of the several segments of the spinal cord and medulla, communicating with each other by means of the white matter.
arousal f. the ability of a sensory event to arouse the cortex to vigilance or readiness.
atrial transport f. the role of the atria in filling and stretching the ventricles by their presystolic contraction, without which the force of ventricular contraction and hence the cardiac output may significantly decrease.
discriminant f. a particular combination of continuous variable test results designed to achieve separation of groups; e.g., a single number representing a combination of weighted laboratory test results designed to discriminate between clinical classes.
isomeric f. the individual f. of an isolated segment of the spinal cord.
line spread f. (LSF) a measure of the ability of a system to form sharp images; in radiology, determined by measuring the spatial density distribution on film of the x-ray image of a narrow slit in a dense metal, such as uranium; from this can be calculated the modulation transfer f.
modulation transfer f. (MTF) in depicting radionuclide distribution or radiographic systems, the efficiency, at a given spatial frequency, of transferring the modulation of the object to that of the image; it is a more complete expression of spatial resolution and is used to evaluate imaging systems and their components; also known as the frequency response function or contrast transmission f.; usually given as a plot of percent amplitude response versus frequency in cycles per mm.


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