staircase phenomenon

trep·pe

(trep'eh), Although in German spelling this word, like all nouns, begins with a capital letter, the English word does not. The final e is not silent.
A phenomenon in cardiac muscle first observed by H.P. Bowditch; if a number of stimuli of the same intensity are sent into the muscle after a quiescent period, the first few contractions of the series show a successive increase in amplitude (strength).
[Ger. Treppe, staircase]
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012

trep·pe

(trep'ĕ)
A phenomenon in cardiac muscle. If a number of stimuli of the same intensity are sent into the muscle after a quiescent period, the first few contractions of the series show a successive increase in amplitude (strength).
Synonym(s): staircase phenomenon.
[Ger. Treppe, staircase]
Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing © Farlex 2012

staircase phenomenon

The effect exhibited by skeletal and heart muscle when subjected to rapidly repeated maximal stimuli following a period of rest. In the resulting series of contractions, each is greater than the preceding one until a state of maximum contraction is reached.
Synonym: treppe
Medical Dictionary, © 2009 Farlex and Partners
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This edition incorporates information on cerebral blood flow during exercise, the anti-fatigue action of catecholamines during exercise, the role of metabosensitive nerve endings in muscle fatigue, the nutritional role of neuroglia, multiple mechanisms for glucose absorption, the pathophysiology of clubbing of fingers, the staircase phenomenon, REM sleep, and the high degree of coordination involved in ciliary activity in the respiratory tract.
The trouble with the model in Figure 2 is that it does not adequately capture what I call the Staircase Phenomenon, one of the most important concepts for you to learn.