Types of Sensory Receptors – Sensory Processing (PSY, BIO)

by Tarry Ahuja, PhD

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    00:01 Now I just kind of alluded to all these different types of receptors.

    00:05 These are all called sensory receptors and they’re all designed to detect one sensory modality.

    00:11 So in English, we’re saying one type of sense.

    00:13 And you know, you’ve all heard that we have so many different senses, five senses, ten senses.

    00:18 The reality is, there’s lots of senses.

    00:21 There are some that kind of bubble to the top that are quite common.

    00:23 So we’ll highlight some of those.

    00:25 One is a mechanoreceptor.

    00:27 So an example would be the auditory hair cells.

    00:29 We have little hair cells at our inner ear.

    00:33 The term mechano refers to the fact that mechanical stimulation or movement of these cells will activate them.

    00:40 So if you want to look at the chapter about the ear and auditory function, we’ll align this little bit more detail.

    00:46 But for now, these little hair cells are in your ear and this fluid-filled canal, the sound gets carried in.

    00:53 It causes a wave of movement which moves the auditory hair cells and that movement actually initiates an electrical signal.

    01:00 And that electrical signal then goes on and gets processed up by our brain which is how we actually hear.

    01:05 So chemoreception is another one.

    01:08 And two examples here are the olfactory receptors which detect chemicals in air, airborne chemicals and allow us to smell.

    01:17 We have the taste receptors and this detect chemicals on your tongue over the mucus membrane.

    01:22 This nociception refers to pain.

    01:25 There’s thermoreceptor which respond to temperature and that’s found in the dermal layer of your skin.

    01:30 Photoreceptors which are found in the rod and cone of your eye.

    01:33 We have a whole lecture on the eyes as well.

    01:35 So you can see, there’s a lot.

    01:37 There are a lot of senses and there are a lot of very specialized receptors.

    01:41 Its only job is to detect that sensory stimulation.

    01:44 And another really kind of cool point is mostly that I have showcased here, it’s not just detecting the presence or absence of that receptor.

    01:54 So think about right now, you close your eyes.

    01:58 So go ahead and close your eyes and you’re listening to the soft, soothing voices of Tarry.

    02:03 And if I ask you, can you tell me whether or not the voice that you’re listening to is male or female? You better say male.

    02:12 This is a male voice.

    02:14 And am I in front of you or am I behind you? Am I speaking in English or am I speaking in Hebrew? Am I speaking in Hindi? And you’re able to figure all of this out very quickly.

    02:24 Can you tell whether I’m speaking really fast or am I talking very slow? How are you able to detect all of this information and do it without actively thinking about it? Okay.

    02:35 So that’s you.

    02:36 I’m asking you to kind of appreciate that.

    02:38 So open your eyes now and you get to look at my pretty face again.

    02:40 What you’re detecting here, all the various features of sound.

    02:44 So these receptors are actually designed to not only just detect the presence or absence of a stimulus, but various features of this sensory information, which I find extremely cool.

    02:56 So whether it’s eyes and all the different aspects of vision, whether it’s sound, if you think in our -- we have a whole lobe of our brain that is allocated just dealing with vision, right? The occipital lobe.

    03:09 That’s all that it does essentially.

    03:11 And so that kind of helps you appreciate the complexity of some of the sensory information that’s coming in.

    03:17 So, in summation, I want us to appreciate all the types of information that we’re able to process, how is it that we process it converting all of those types of sensory information into electrical information and get sent up to the central nervous system where it’s processed and allows us to interact with our environment.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Types of Sensory Receptors – Sensory Processing (PSY, BIO) by Tarry Ahuja, PhD is from the course Sensing the Environment.

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Mechanical movement of auditory hair cells
    2. Vibratory movement of outer hair cells
    3. Action potential of hair cells
    4. Signal transduction via the auditory nerve
    5. Sound amplification by outer hair cells
    1. Gustatory receptors
    2. Baroreceptors
    3. Osmoreceptors
    4. Visceroreceptors
    5. Golgi tendon receptors
    1. Nociceptors located in the dermal layer
    2. Olfactory chemoreceptors detecting caustic chemicals
    3. Thermoreceptors located in the dermal layer detecting heat
    4. Cutaneous mechanoreceptors detecting deep touch
    5. Rods and cones

    Author of lecture Types of Sensory Receptors – Sensory Processing (PSY, BIO)

     Tarry Ahuja, PhD

    Tarry Ahuja, PhD

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