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Chapter 19

Sensory Systems

What is a Sensory System?
Sensory systems detect stimuli—such as light and sound waves—and transduce them into neural signals that can be interpreted by the…
The Tongue and Taste Buds
The surface of the tongue is covered with various small bumps called papillae, which either distribute what has been ingested (filiform papillae) or…
Gustation
Gustation is a chemical sense that, along with olfaction (smell), contributes to our perception of taste. It starts with the activation of receptors…
Olfaction
The sense of smell is achieved through the activities of the olfactory system. It starts when an airborne odorant enters the nasal cavity and reaches…
Hearing
When we hear a sound, our nervous system is detecting sound waves—pressure waves of mechanical energy traveling through a medium. The frequency…
Hair Cells
Hair cells are the sensory receptors of the auditory system—they transduce mechanical sound waves into electrical energy that the nervous…
The Cochlea
The cochlea is a coiled structure in the inner ear that contains hair cells—the sensory receptors of the auditory system. Sound waves are…
The Vestibular System
The vestibular system is a set of inner ear structures that provide a sense of balance and spatial orientation. This system is comprised of…
The Retina
The retina is a layer of nervous tissue at the back of the eye that transduces light into neural signals. This process, called phototransduction, is…
Vision
Vision is the result of light being detected and transduced into neural signals by the retina of the eye. This information is then further analyzed…
Somatosensation
The somatosensory system relays sensory information from the skin, mucous membranes, limbs, and joints. Somatosensation is more familiarly known as…
Thermosensation
Peripheral thermosensation is the perception of external temperature. A change in temperature (on the surface of the skin and other tissues) is…
New Methods to Study Gustatory Coding
The sense of taste allows animals to detect chemicals in the environment, giving rise to behaviors critical for survival. When Gustatory Receptor…
Visualizing Visual Adaptation
Many techniques have been developed to visualize how an image would appear to an individual with a different visual sensitivity: e.g., because of…
Neonatal Murine Cochlear Explant Technique as an <em>In Vitro</em> Screening Tool in Hearing Research
While there have been remarkable advances in hearing research over the past few decades, there is still no cure for Sensorineural Hearing Loss…
Desensitization and Recovery of Crayfish Photoreceptors Upon Delivery of a Light Stimulus
A method to study desensitization and recovery of crayfish photoreceptors is presented. We performed intracellular electrical recordings of…
Local and Global Methods of Assessing Thermal Nociception in <em>Drosophila</em> Larvae
In this article, we demonstrate assays to study thermal nociception in Drosophila larvae. One assay involves spatially-restricted (local) stimulation…

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