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The Senses

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32.1 Sensory Systems Are Adaptive

1. Sensory receptors detect, transduce, and amplify stimuli, allowing and animal to perceive its environment. 
2. Natural selection has molded sensory systems. 

32.2 Diverse Sensory Systems Operate by the Same General Principles

3. A sensory receptor selectively responds to a single form of energy and converts it to receptor potentials, which change membrane potential in proportion to stimulus strength. 
4. Sensory receptors amplify stimuli. 
5. If a stimulus remains constant, a sensory receptor ceases to respond (sensory adaptation). 
6. Sensory receptors are classified by the type of energy they detect: chemicals, light, or mechanical energy.Essential Study Partner
Receptors and Sensations

32.3 Chemoreception

7. Chemoreceptors enable invertebrates to detect food, escape danger, and communicate. 
8. In humans, olfaction occurs when odorant molecules bind to receptors the olfactory epithelium of the nasal passages. The brain perceives a smell by evaluating the pattern of olfactory receptor cells that bind to odorant molecules.Animation
Art Quiz
9. Humans perceive taste (gustation) when chemicals stimulate receptors within taste buds.Essential Study Partner
Sense of Taste

32.4 Photoreception

10. Invertebrate photoreceptors contain pigments (usually rhodopsin),associated with membranes. Light stimulation alters the pigment and changes the charge across the membrane, which may generate an action potential. Visual systems range from simple eye cups to compound eyes composed of ommatidia, to lens systems.Art Quiz
Eye Evolution
11. Humans perceive vision with complex lens system. The human eye contains three layers. The outer layer, the sclera, protects. It forms the transparent cornea in the front of the eyeball. The next layer, the choroid coat, is pigmented, located toward the rear of the eye, and absorbs light. In the front of the eye, the choroid coat forms the ciliary body, which controls the shape of the lens that focuses light on the photoreceptors, and the opaque iris. The pupil constricts or dilates to adjust to the amount of light entering the eye.Art Activity
Anatomy of the Eye I
Art Activity
Anatomy of the Eye II
12. The innermost eye layer is the multilayered retina. Beneath a pigment layer lie photoreceptors: rods for black-and-white vision in dim light and cones for color vision in brighter light. These cells synapse with bipolar cells that form the middle retinal layer. The bipolar cells, in turn, synapse with ganglion cells whose fibers leave the retina as the theoptic nerve, which carries the neural messages to the brain for interpretation. Light activates rhodopsin, altering retinal, which ultimately alters ion permeability of the receptor cell membrane. Three types of cones each contain a pigment that maximally absorbs light of a range of particular wavelengths. The brain interprets the ratio of the activities of the three cone types as a color.Animation
Essential Study Partner
The Eye
Art Quiz
Retina Structure

32.5 Mechanoreception

13. Mechanoreceptors bend in response to sound, to movement, or touch. Invertebrate hearing depends on setae and tympanal organs, and balance and equilibrium depend on statolith crystals within statocysts. 
14. In human hearing, sound enters the auditory canal, vibrating the tympanic membrane. These vibrations are transmitted through the middle ear and amplified by three bones, the malleus, incus, and stapes. The movement of these bones changes the pressure in fluid within the cochlea, which, in turn, vibrates the basilar membrane. As the basilar membrane moves, it pushes hair cells against the tectorial membrane, which signals the brain to perceive the pitch of the sound through the location of the moving hair cells. The brain determines the sound's loudness from the frequency of action potentials and the number of stimulated hair cells.Art Activity
Anatomy of the Ear
15. The semicircular canals and the vestibule in the inner ear sense body position and movement. Fluid movement within these areas stimulates sensory hair cells, and the brain interprets this information, providing a sense of equilibrium.Animation
Semicircular Canals
Essential Study Partner
Sense of Hearing and Equilibrium
Art Quiz
Semicircular Canals and Ampulla
16. Pacinian corpuscles, Meissner's corpuscles, and free nerve endings are skin mechanoreceptors. Pacinian corpuscles respond to vibration; Meissner's corpuscles to gentle pressure; and free nerve endings to touch, hot, cold, and pain.Essential Study Partner
Skin Mechanoreceptors
Art Quiz
Sensory Receptors in Skin

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