In enzymology, a phenomenon in which a compound (an inhibitor), usually similar in structure to the substance on which an enzyme acts (substrate), interacts with the enzyme so that the resulting complex cannot undergo the usual reaction or cannot form the usual product.
The inhibitor may function by combining with the enzyme at the site at which the reaction usually occurs (competitive inhibition) or at another site (noncompetitive inhibition). See also allosteric control , feedback inhibition , repression .
In psychology, the conscious or unconscious suppression of free or spontaneous thought or behaviour through the operation of psychological impediments, including internalized social controls.
Inhibition serves useful social functions such as protecting oneself and others from harm and enabling the delay of gratification from pleasurable activities. Both extreme lack of inhibition and excessive inhibition can be personally destructive. Inhibition also plays an important role in learning , since an organism must learn to restrain certain instinctual behaviours or previously learned patterns in order to master new patterns. In physiological psychology , inhibition refers to the suppression of neural electrical activity.