Central Nervous system

A system that controls all of the activities of the body. The nervous system is made of: The brain The nerves The spinal cord The senses

Functional unit of nerve Cells


Sensory nervous system

Human life would be very different without the ability to sense and perceive external stimuli Imagine your world without the ability to see, hear, smell, touch, and feel

Reflex action

The nervous system also allows you to react to a stimulus.

A stimulus is a change in the environment. Example: A hot stove Or« tripping over a rock

Range in complexity from the singlesinglecelled, Simple dendritic ending of a neuron Complex sense organs

They are specialized structure situated at the peripheral termination of afferent neurons They detect and respond to external or internal change in the environment i. e( stimuli ) Inform the central nervous system about these changes

‡ Sensory receptors also serve as afferent pathways for reflex action with or without conscious sensation.

Most of them are protein in nature Located either in the: The plasma membrane (common) The cytoplasm One cell may contain many receptors

They are stimulated by either one of these stimuli. Mechanical Thermal Chemical Electromagnetic

Functions of the receptors
1- Detector They detect any change in external or internal environment and inform the central nervous system about these changes.

Functions of the receptors
2- Transducer The receptors act as transducer, they transform different forms of stimuli (mechanical, thermal, chemical and electromagnetic) to electric changes in the form of receptor or generator potential

1.Mechanoreceptors respond to mechanical stimuli Skin tactile sensibilities ±free nerve endings, Deep tissue sensibilities ±Pacinian corpuscles, muscle spindles, Golgi tendon organ Hearing ±sound receptors of cochlea‡ Equilibrium ±vestibular receptors‡ Arterial pressure baro receptors.

2.Thermoreceptors Respond to thermal Stimulie either Cold or Warm.


Pain ±free nerve endings.


4.Electromagnetic receptors Respond to
Vision ±rods and cones

5.Chemoreceptors Respond to
Taste ±taste buds Smell ±olfactory epithelium Arterial oxygen ±aortic and carotid bodies Osmolality± Osmolality±anterior hypothalamus Blood carbon dioxide ±CNS (medulla)

Receptor or generator potential
It is studied in the pacinian corpuscles (one of the mechanoreceptor)

y It is large in size and can be dissected. y It form unmyelinated straight terminal part of afferent nerve fibres. y It is surrounded by a capsule formed of onion like layer of connective tissue. y In this receptor, the first Node of Ranvier is present inside the capsule

Receptor potential
Moderate stimulation of the receptor causes stretching or distortion of the nerve ending and/or release of chemical transmitter,

Receptor potential
Stimulus release either Chemical messenger Hormones Neurotransmitters Local autacoids
Change of the temperature Electromagnetic radiation

which combine with the receptor

Receptor potential
this will increase the permeability of the membrane of the receptor to sodium which passes from outside to the inside of the cell

Receptor potential
more sodium influx than potassium efflux (sodium move according to concentration and electric gradient. It is more concentrated outside the membrane of the receptor cells Also the inside of the receptor is more negative than its outside

Receptor potential
The movement of sodium causes only partial depolarization of the receptor in the nerve endings. The membrane of this nerve endings have a high threshold, threshold, therefore the movement of sodium cannot completely depolarized this region.

Receptor potential
If the amount of partial depolarization is large and reach a threshold value 10-15 mY (Due 10- mY to strong stimulation).

Receptor potential
The depolarization increase and passes for a long distance to reach the first Node of Ranvier (where the threshold of the membrane to stimulation is very low)

it causes opening of voltage gated sodium channels, and when it lead to complete depolarization of the first Node of Ranvier and an action potential is then propagated along the sensory nerve fiber associated or connected with the stimulated receptor to the central nervous system

Receptor potential

An impulse is selfpropagating. Once started it continues, and moves only in one direction

Receptor or generator potential

The receptor potential
partial depolarization Is conducted by local flow for a short distance from the nerve ending The magnitude of receptor potential decreases with distance from its site of origin till ended.


The Receptor Potential
Does not propagate Graded the amplitude varies with the intensity of stimulation.

Differences Between
Receptor potential & action potential

Items of differences

Generator potential Depolarization Partial Duration 20 millisecond Response(Am Graded response plitude) Amplitude increases with the increase strength of the stimulus Threshold No threshold

Action potential

complete 2 milliseconds
No graded response Amplitude is Independent with the strength of the stimulus

threshold 10 mY mY

Items of differences

Generator potential

Action potential

All or non law y y Not obey this law Obey this law Summationy Summationy Refractory period Conduction summated Cannot be summated Has no refractory Has refractory period period Conduction with constant amplitude constant


Conduction decrease with distance decrease amplitudeVaries with the stimulus

Skin receptors

Properties of the receptors
1- Excitability Is the ability of the receptor to respond to adequate stimulus to the form of receptor or generator potential

Properties of the receptors
2- Adequate stimulus or Muller's law of specific nerve energy Each type of receptors is sensitive to only one particular kind of stimulus called adequate stimulus and give rise to only one type of sensation regardless to the method of stimulation i.e. each receptor has a lower threshold to its adequate stimulus e.g. auditory receptors are sensitive only to sound vibration

Properties of the receptors
3- Rate of afferent discharge Depend on the intensity of the stimulus, it is directly proportional to the intensities of the stimulus. Sensory receptor detect the different intensity of the stimulie by two means.

Properties of the receptors
Increase rate of afferent discharge from a single receptor (frequency modulated response).

Properties of the receptors
Weber Feshner¶s law. State that the law. amplitude of generator potential and the frequency of afferent discharge are directly proportional to log 10 intensity of the stimulus

Properties of the receptors
Increase intensity of the stimulus 100 folds, the frequency of afferent discharge (No. of (No. impulses/unit time) increases 2 folds, while increase the intensity to 1000 increase rate of afferent discharge by 3 folds

This explain the compression function of the receptor
. The receptor can detect marked variable changes in the intensities of the stimuli and causes a smaller range in the frequency of afferent discharge which can be detected by cortical sensory area (the receptor detect wide range of intensities, but the cortical sensory area can detect only smaller range of frequency of afferent discharge).

Properties of the receptors
2- Increasing the no. of stimulated receptor i.e. recruitment of the receptor. The more increase the intensity of the stimulus the more increase in the no. of receptor stimulated the more the afferent discharge.

Properties of the receptors
4- Adaptation Is a decrease frequency of afferent discharge inspiet of constant stimulation to the receptor.

Differences between adaptation &fatigue
Caused by Recovery Sites Constant stimulation Immediate All tissue including the receptors Not affected

Previous activity Slow Some tissues but not the receptors Enhanced Accumulation of metabolites as lactic acid

O2 lack

Mechanisms Discussed below

Mechanism of adaptation
1- Pressure applied to the receptor causes compression of its lamellae leading to deformity of the nerve endings and opening of sodium channels producing generator and action potential with afferent discharge. After a time the fluid in the receptor is redistributed and the pressure become equally distributed and the receptor potential disappears even though the stimulus continue to be effective. This is a rapid mechanism.

Mechanism of adaptation
2- Another slower mechanism is accommodation which occur in the first node of Ranvier resulting from inactivation of sodium channel and decrease in the excitability of the first node so the frequency of afferent discharge decreases.

Mechanism of adaptation
3- Loss of energy to surrounding tissues of the receptors by continuous stimulation. The energy of the stimulus is lost in the tissue surrounding the receptors before reaching them. The energy loss increases and the amount of energy reaching the receptor decreases, and the rate of afferent discharge decreases.

Classification of receptors

Classification of receptor according to their rate of adaptation.
1l l r r r ti l ti rt i r t r . . i l , r r t r, t r i r t r. i l f r i iti ti f it l r fl ti l t lif .

2- Rapidly adapting receptors or phasic receptors. e.g. touch receptors. They suppress unnecessary information that disturb the central nervous system.

Classification of receptor according to their rate of adaptation.

3- Moderately adapting receptors. e.g. cold, smell and taste receptors. their rate of adaptation between tonic and phasic receptor.

Classification of receptor according to their rate of adaptation.

Classification of receptors
Extero receptors Intero receptors

Histological structure
Non capsulated receptors Capsulated receptors

Stimulus the receptors recieves
Mechanoreceptors Thermoreceptors Chemoreceptor Electromagnetic receptors

Sensory coding
It is the ability of the nerve centers to get information about modality, intensity and locality of the stimulus.

As regard modality
According to Muller¶s law of specific nerve energies each spetial receptor is stimulated by its adequate stimulie with little amount of energy needed give one type of sensation.

Label line principle
There is specific pathway for each sensation which transmit it to a specific area of the cerebral sensory cortex. Stimulation of this pathway at any point evokes its specific sensation.

Free nerve endings (pain receptors) do not obey the Muller¶s law. It can be stimulated by chemical, thermal, mechanical and electric stimuli provided that the stimulus is strong and causing pain or injury

As regard intensity
1- Increase the number of active receptors and increase afferent discharge from. These receptors reaching the nerve center. This is called recruitment of the receptors.

2- Increase the frequency of afferent discharge reaching the nerve centers from one single receptor. Weber Feshner law state that the frequency of afferent discharge is directly proportional to log 10 intensity of the stimulus. Increase intensity of the stimulus increase the frequency of afferent discharge reaching the nerve.center

As regard locality
Law of projection, there is a separate area of representation for each part of the body in the sensory area of the cerebral cortex, when impulse reaches the specific area in the cortex, it project this stimulus to its original site.

somatic sensory afferents
Afferent nerve nerves are either peripheral branch of the dorsal root ganglia or sensory afferent fibers of cranial nerves velocity of conduction or unmyelinated They are either myelinated with high or with low velocity of conduction .Also they are different in diameters the high velocity with larger diameter

Classification of nerve fibers
Histologically they are either myelinated with high velocity of conduction unmylinated with low velocity of conduction Functionally they are either Sensory Motor

Myelinated neurons conduct action potentials more quickly by 1-Saltatory conduction 2-Axons of large diameter also transmit action potentials faster

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