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PSYB65H3 (519)

Sensory Systems

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Zachariah Campbell

Lecture 7 Sensory Systems General Principles of Sensory System Function - Sensory Receptors o Specialized cells that trans duce, or convert, sensory energy into neural activity - Receptors are energy filters o Respond only to narrow band of energy - Transduction of Energy o Vision: Light converted to chemical energy in photoreceptors o Audition: Air pressure waves converted into mechanical energy which activates the auditory receptor cells o Somatosensory: Mechanical energy activates mechanoreceptors o Taste & Olfaction: Chemical molecules in the air & food fit into receptors o Pain: Tissue damage releases a chemical that acts like a NTS to activate pain fibers - Receptive Fields Locate Sensory Events o Receptive field  Specific part of world to which a sensory receptor responds  Provides a ‘unique’ view of the world for each sensory system  Helps locate sensory events in space - Receptors Identify Change & Constancy o Rapidly Adapting Receptors  Detect when something is there  Easily activated but stop responding quickly o Slowly Adapting Receptors  Adapt more slowly to stimulation - Receptors Distinguish Self from Others Lecture 7 o Exteroceptive  Receptors that respond to external stimuli o Interoceptive  Receptors that respond to internal stimuli  Help interpret meaning of external stimuli o Optic Flow  Stimulus configuration or visual info when running o Auditory Flow  Changes in intensity of a sound because of our changing location - Receptor Density Determines Sensitivity o Higher density of sensory receptors leads to increased sensitivity  Two-point sensitivity o Fovea  Increased density of cone cells, increases ability to make sensitive color discrimination in bright light o Peripheral Retina  Increased density of rod cells, increased sensitivity for light - Neural Relays o Receptors connect to the cortex through a sequence of 3 or 4 intervening neurons o Allows sensory systems to interact o Relays allow sensory systems to produce relevant actions o Examples  Pain receptors in spinal cord trigger reflexes that produces withdrawal movements
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