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Perception of Stimuli lots of different stimulus can be detected by the human body with

different receptors

Mechanoreceptors stimulus mechanical movement

o Types hair cells in ears
Chemoreceptors stimulus chemicals
o Types taste and smell receptors on tongue and in nose.
Thermo receptors stimulus temperature
o Types hypothalamus measures temperature of blood for homeostasis.
Photoreceptors stimulus light
o Types rods and cones in retina.
Nocireceptors pain receptors
o Can cause inflammation + pain to tell your body of dangers
Any perception of stimuli by the body will have this sequence
o Sensory input integration (generation of action potential in motor neuron) motor
Sensory Reception / Transduction
o Begins with sensory reception detection of a stimulus by a sensory receptor
The type of stimuli that will be reaccepted depends on the receptor itself
o The stimuli will open or close ion channels as it binds to a chemical receptor on
the membrane
o The open and closing of ions results in movement of these ions in and out of the cell
changing its membrane potential.
o Sensory Transduction refers to the conversion of a physical or
chemical stimulus into the change in membrane potential
o Often times, transduction results in an automatic action potential being sent to the
o 2 types of neurons
neurons that are themselves sensory receptors have one axon that extends
into the CNS
non-neuronal sensory receptor: these form synapses with other neurons and
communicate via action potential
o the size of receptor potential released depends on stimulus intensity
o Processing sensory information occurs before, during and after action potentials
reach the CNS
Because of integrated summation of many individual action potentials
o we generate the perception of the stimuli when action potentials reach the brain
o perceptions that we experience are ALL within the brain, not outside it, constructed
based on the sensory input it has received. Perception does not exist outside of our
o in a sea of action potentials how can our brain determine what we are perceiving or
We have non-changing Connections that link sensory neurons to the brain.
The same type of pulse and action potentials characteristic of each
DIFFERENT perception always travel along the SAME routes and same
So your brain only can distinguish stimuli based on the path the sense came
up on its way to the brain!

Amplification and Adaption

o Amplification of a signal strengthen of a signal during transduction, happens
through enzyme reactions forming many products from a single signal
o Adaption sensory adaption is tuning out senses or you would be overwhelmed by

Hearing, equilibrium and balance

Hearing and balance are often connected in most animas
In both cases, the big pictures is that
o Mechanoreceptors produce receptor potentials in response to moving fluid in the
Balance and position relative to gravity - invertebrates
o There are special mechanoreceptors in statocysts. These inform us of our
position in relation to gravity
o Inside these statocysts are
Grains of sand/ Other material from the environment
These materials sit in an area that is lined with ciliated cells when an
animal moves or repositions, the mechanoreceptors at the lowest point are
stimulated showing the brain where up and down is equilibrium and
o Structure of the ear
Outer ear
Middle ear
Inner ear
o Outer ear
External pinna and the auditory canal collects sound waves
o Middle ear
Tympanic membrane (ear drum) sound gets funnelled here from outer ear
This membrane separates outer and middle ear
Three small bones these transmit vibrations from ear drum to oval
Malleus, Incus, Stapes (in this order so stapes is connected to oval
Eustachian tube equalizes pressure between middle air and atmosphere
o Inner ear
Oval window membrane connecting middle to inner ear
fluid filled chambers
semicircular canal helps maintain equilibrium
cochlea involved in hearing, snail shaped
The cochlea one of the most important parts in hearing
o 2 compartments
vestibular canal fluid filled space (on top)
tympanic canal fluid filled space (on the bottom)
in between these, separating them is the cochlear duct
o cochlear duct
on the floor of the cochlear duct is the basilar membrane which contains
the organ of Corti contains mechanoreceptor hair cells. These project
into the duct and the tectorial membrane
sound waves make the basilar membrane vibrate bends the hairs and
depolarizes them
so when sound waves vibrate the hairs, they bend against the tectorial

Ear and hearing big picture

Air pressure wave passes down auditory canal (outer ear)
This air pushes on ear drum membrane which moves bones in the middle ear
o Bones
1st bone attached to ear drum
2nd bone connects bone 1 and 2
3rd bone attached to oval window
These bones act as levers to control the force transmitted from the ear
drum to the oval window
The bone pushes the oval window which in turn exerts pressure wave in fluid filled
The round window (the top opening of the cochlea) moves in symphony to the oval
window so when oval window moves inwards, round window moves outwards
o This allows fluid in cochlea to move backwards and forwards
o This fluid movement, exerts pressure on the vestibular canal (the top compartment
of the cochlea) which pushes on basilar membrane (in the middle of the
cochlea )
o On basilar membrane sit little hair cells
Hair cells = mechanoreceptors (sense mechanical movement)
Vibration of the hair cells as it bends from basilar membrane to tectorial
This bending back and forth of the hair cells causes ion channels to open
depolarizes the hair cell and sends neurotransmitters / action potential to
brain via the auditory nerve
Bending hairs in the opposite direction has the reverse effect
Once the pressure wave has gone through the cochlea it passes around the tip and
dissipates as the wave hits the round window
Volume: is determined by the height of the sound wave. The louder sound more
intense vibrations
Pitch: is determined by frequency, number of waves
o Pitch is determined by the frequency, different frequencies travel different distances
in the cochlea e.g. low pitch will travel far into the cochlea
o Basilar membrane where the hairs lie is thin at the bottom near oval window,
wider at the top
o Each section (thin or wide section) is tuned to a different vibration
frequency this means when a specific area (thin or wide area) is stimulated, we
perceive it as a certain pitch
The closer the vibrations to the thin section by oval window = high pitch
So basically:
Sound + air pressure comes in through the ear, hits the middle ear bones which in turn act as a
lever to the oval window the bone pushes the oval window which creates a pressure wave in the
cochlea. As the oval window moves out , the round window moves in, allowing for fluid
movement. The movement of the fluid is determined by frequency. And this movement, in turn
moves the hair cells on the basilar membrane which are mechanoreceptors which send an nerve
impulse to the auditory nerve brain.

We have two chambers behind the oval window called the:
o Utricle
o Saccule
These contain hair cells and otoliths (calcium carbonate) in gel
When your head tilts, the otoliths push onto the hair cells, creating a signal that head is at
a tilt
o Also contains 3 fluid filled spaces arranged in 3 spatial planes (left, right, forwards)
o Each space has hair cells in gel also
o When you turn your head or spin, one of the 3 spaces fluid will move until you stop
spinning this movement of fluid and then it reaching equilibrium = dizziness