Physiological and pharmacological studies of hormones, drugs, and neurotransmitters often generate families of sigmoidal dose-response curves. Optimally efficient data analysis should involve simultaneous description of all curves, rather than fitting each one individually. We have developed a general computerized method to describe the dose-response curves in terms of basal and maximal responses, ED50, and curve shape or steepness. This facile method permits rigorous statistical analysis, provides a basis for pooling of information from separate experiments, and allows one to test which characteristics are shared by various curves.
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