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Ch14 Textbook Notes

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University of Toronto St. George
Christine Burton

CHAPTER 14 THE CUTANEOUS SENSES Somatosensory system includes o The cutaneous senses responsible for perceptions such as touch and pain o Proprioception the ability to sense the position of the body and limbs o Kinesthesis the ability to sense the movement of the body and limbsOverview of the Cutaneous SystemThe Skin Prevents bodily fluids from escaping protects us from bacteria chemicals and dirt provides us with information about the stimulus that contact itEpidermis the outer layer of dead skin cellsDermis o Mechanoreceptors receptors that respond to mechanical stimulationMechanoreceptorsMerkel receptor o Located close to the surface of the skin o Fires to continuous pressure fine detailsMeissner corpuscle o Located close to the surface of the skin o Fires to on and off handgrip controlRuffini cylinder o Located deeper in the skin o Fires to continuous pressure stretchingPacinian corpuscle o Located deeper in the skin o Fires to on and off vibration fine texture by moving fingersPathways From Skin to CortexNerve fibres from receptors in the skin travel in bundles peripheral nerves that enter the spinal cord through the dorsal root two major pathways o Medial lemniscal pathwayHas large fibres that carry signals related to sensing the positions of the limbs and perceiving touch o Spinothalamic pathwayConsists of smaller fibres that transmits signals related to temperature and painFibres from both pathways cross over to the other side of the body on the way to the thalamus and most synapse in the ventrolateral nucleusMaps of the Body on the CortexFrom the thalamus signals travel to the somatosensory receiving area S1 and possibly to the secondary somatosensory cortex S2
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