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107 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
Two categories of sensory information.
Somatic Senses
Special Senses
Describe the somatic senses
aka Body Senses

touch, temperature, pain, pressure, vibration, proprioception (body movement and its position in space)

Senses included:
Describe the special senses
Smell (olfaction)
Sight (vision)
Taste (gustation)
Balance (Equilibrium)
Division of PNS responsible for transmitting information about the environment outside and inside our bodies
Afferent Division
Energy forms
Define Stimulus
change detectable by the body
what is a transducer
define sensory transduction
conversion of stimulus energy into a receptor potential (type of graded potential)

if threshold is reached, action potential
Graded potentials relating to senses are called
receptor potentials
define sensation
the arrival of the sensory information to the CNS
define perception
when you know the sensory information has arrived

sometimes you don't know until after (touching a hot stove)
Function of photoreceptors
Respond to photons of light
sense related to photoreceptors
Function of chemoreceptors
respond to chemicals, such as odors, taste, chemicals in body fluids, O2, pH

Chemicals in food/stuff you breath in

they detect the levels of gasses in your body and chemicals in the stomach
senses related to chemoreceptors

function of thermoreceptors
Warm receptors

Cold receptors

Temperature sensations
senses related to thermoreceptors
Function of Nociceptors
Respond to intense stimuli signaling pain


Sensitive to tissue damage (temperature, pressure, stretching)
senses related to the nociceptors
Function of Mechanoreceptors
respond to forms of mechanical energy

eg. Movement, pressure, vibration, bending
function of osmoreceptors
detect changes in concentration of solutes in the ECF
Why is afferent input important?
It is needed to control efferent output
describe the function of the reticular activating system in the brain stem
processes sensory input (critical)
do all people feel senses the same?
no, some people feel senses more than others (such as pain and taste)
describe compound sensations

eg. wetness
perception comes from integration of several simultaneously activated primary sensory inputs

eg. wetness comes from touch, thermal input, pressure. (there is not "wetness" sensor
describe the function of a sensory receptor
detects and responds to internal and external stimuli

each receptor type has an "adequate stimulus"
Acts as a transducer
sensory receptor
describe the structure of a sensory receptor
found at the peripheral endings of afferent neurons

considered specialized nerve endings
define receptive field
area of body, which if stimulated, results in activity in that sensory neuron

receptive fields often overlap with neighboring receptive fields
define acuity
how does the proximity of receptors affect the receptive field?
the more closely the receptors are located, the smaller the receptive field
What part of the CNS integrates sensory stimuli?
Routed through the thalamus, integrated in the cerebral cortex
What is a labeled line?
A dedicated neural pathway (chain of neurons)

the labeled lines are synaptically interconnected in particular sequences to accomplish processing of sensory information
Which sense isn't routed through the thalamus?
describe the function of the thalamus
acts as a relay station for all sensory pathways except smell
How does the sense get to the brain?
travels along a labeled line

the labeled line connects a specific receptor and the specific neuron in the cerebral cortex that will interpret the signal
Describe somatosensory pathways
pathways conveying conscious somatic sensations

consists of labeled lines
What are the 2 classes of receptors (depending on how they react [adapt] to continuous stimulation)
Tonic Receptors

Phasic Receptors
Describe Tonic Receptors

(adaptation, purpose)
continually send signals to CNS as long as stimulus is present

Adapts slowly or not at all

Eg: Muscles and joints (CNS must continually receive information about the degree of muscle length)
Describe Phasic Receptors

(adaptation, purpose)
normally inactive but become active for short time whenever a change occurs in the conditions they are monitoring



Examples of phasic receptors

touch (rings, watches, clothing -- you don't feel it after just a short amount of time)

This allows the body to ignore information that has been evaluated and found not to threaten homeostasis or well-being
Fast-adapting receptors
Slow-adapting receptors
name the 5 special senses
What type of receptor is involved in the sense of Vision?
What type of receptor is involved in the sense of Hearing?
What type of receptor is involved in the sense of Taste?
What type of receptor is involved in the sense of Smell?
What type of receptor is involved in the sense of Equilibrium?
Loss of the sense of smell
Where are taste cells located?
taste buds
where are the rods and cones located?
where are the hairs associated with hearing located?
What is necessary for a substance to be tasted?
It must dissolve in the saliva and mucus of the mouth
What is a taste pore?
opening through which fluids in mouth come into contact with surface of receptor cells
Describe the structure of a taste receptor cell.
modified epithelial cells with surface folds called microvilli

plasma membrane of microvilli contain receptor sites that bind selectively with chemical molecules
Describe the process of tasting
the chemical dissolves, binds with receptors serving as channels, open the channels, enact a second messenger system (g-proteins)
What are the 5 primary tastes?
Describe the taste sensation sweet
describe the taste sensation sour
acids (contain a free H+)
describe the taste sensation bitter
chemically diverse, toxic plant derivatives, poison (alkaloids)

Coffee isn't normally toxic but it has a bitter taste
describe the taste sensation Umami
Japanese for delicious, amino acids, meaty flavors (meaty, savory, the taste you get from adding MSG--chinese food)
Research points to a sixth taste. What is it?
Fatty (taste pores that respond mostly to fat, potato chips, homemade rolls)
Describe Myopia
Near sighted

When you look at something, it overshoots

corrected with a concave lens
Describe Hyperopia
Far sighted

Convex Lens

Means you can see far
Harder up close vision
Extension of the CNS, contains photoreceptors
"doughnut" vision
macular degeneration
What 3 colors are the cones?

Red Blue Green
ability of the lens to adjust its curvature in order to enable viewing, the cornea never changes
3 structures that make up the ear
Describe the outer/external portion of the ear
consists of pinna (auricle), auditory meatus, and tympanic membrane
describe the function of the pinna
aka auricle

funnels sound waves into the external auditory meatus
describe the function of the external auditory meatus
channels sound waves to the tympanic membrane
describe the function of the tympanic membrane

vibrates in response to sound waves
Where is the middle ear located?
Between the tympanic membrane and the cochlea
describe the function of the middle ear
houses the ossicles

transports airborne soundwaves to the fluid-filled inner ear
what are the 3 bones in the middle ear called?
name the three ossicles in order


Describe the Malleus
middle ear bone

The Hammer (look like a mallet)

Recieves vibrations and passes them on to the incus
Describe the incus
Anvile shape

recieves from the malleus, passes on to the stapes
Describe the stapes
stirrup shape bone

receives from the incus

transmits vibration to the oval window
What is the muscle connected to the stapes?
Stapedius muscle
describe the function of the stapedius muscle
attaches to the stapes

provides protection from loud noises, contracts to dampen vibrations

prevents nerve damage in cochlea
describe the function of the Eustachian tube
aka auditory tube -- permits air to enter or leave middle ear cavity

empties into the ear bone cavity

connection to the nasal passages

normally shuts off and collapses

when your ears pop, this tube is opening up
what stands between the ear and external atmosphere
eustachian tube
Describe the function of ear tubes
kids' eustachian tube isn't vertical enough to drain, become infected

ear tubes penetrate ear drum, prevent infection of the tube
What is Otitis media

oto = ear
Describe the inner ear
Where hearing transduction takes place

Houses the cochlea and the vestibular apparatus
What 2 sensory systems are housed in the inner ear

Vestibular Apparatus
Describe the structure and function of the cochlea
fluid-filled tube, snail-like shape

Houses mechanoreceptors for hearing
Describe the structure and function of the vestibular apparatus
necessary for a sense of equillibrium

detects position and movement

consists of the semicircular canal and the utricle and saccule
name the three major types of muscle


Describe timbre
it's what helps people distinguish voices, it involves overtones
Where is sound processed in the brain?
The auditory cortex in the temporal lobe of the brain

8th nerve > inferior colliculus > then to the thalamus > then to the auditory cortex
describe the function of the semicircular canals
detect rotational acceleration or deceleration in any direction

ice skating, keeping your head up in a car, things like that
Describe the function of the utricle and saccule
detects changes in rate of linear movement in any direction (whenever your hear changes from an upright position...headstand)

provides information important for determining head position in relation to gravity

include otoliths
Describe the structure of the vestibule
egg shaped sac filled with gelatinous fluid containing small pebbles of calcium carbonate called otoliths
describe otoliths
small pebbles of calcium carbonate that float on the jellylike fluid within saccule and utricle
what movement does the semicircular canal detect?
Where does the body process vestibular input signals
signals travel to the vestibular nuclei in brain stem and on to the cerebellum for use in maintaining balance and posture, controlling eye movements, perceiving motion and orientation
Describe motion sickness
the fluid is still moving but your eyes are telling you you aren't going anywhere

the brain's sense you're moving is confused with the brain's sense you're standing still
causes of hearing loss
bones, ear drum, auditory cortex, mechanoreceptor loss (hair loss)
muscle cell membrane
muscle cytoplasm
muscle modified ER
Sarcoplasmic Reticulum
muscle cell aka
muscle FIBER