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SENSORY RECEPTORS
Neurophysiological Aspect
Updated September, 2007

Prof. Dr. Muhammad Abdul Azeem


Ummal Qura University, Meccah
Receptor Types
1. Mechanoreceptors
– Tactile (Skin)
– Free Nerve Endings (Skin)
– (Merkel’s Disc; Skin)
Expanded tip endings (Merkel’
– (Ruffini’s Endings; Skin)
Spray Endings (Ruffini’
– Encapsulated Endings (Paccinian Corpuscle; Skin)
– Muscle Endings (Muscle Spindle, Golgi Tendon
organ)
– Hearing (Chochlea)
– Equilibrium (Vestibular apparatus)
– Baroreceptors (Carotid & Aortic Bodies)
…………………Receptor Types
Continued…………………
Continued
2. Thermoreceptors (Warmth & Cold)

3. Nociceptor (Pain)

4. Electromagnetic Receptors (Vision; Rods & Cones)

5. Chemoreceptors
Taste (Tongue), Smell (Nose), Carotid & Aortic bodies
(CO2 & O2), Hypothalamic (blood glucose), Supraoptic
Nuclei in hypothalamus (osmolality)
Various
Skin
Receptors
• Definition of a Receptor
The biological transducers that detect
sensations like touch, warmth, cold, light,
pressure, chemical etc.

• Differential Sensitivity of Receptors


– Modality of Sensation – The “Labeled
Line”” Principle, i.e., every type of
Line
sensation is a single modality.
– specific sensation, a single one is
detected by specific receptor.
Characteristics of Receptor
• It respond to specific & single stimuli.
• It posses a specific morphological
structure.
• It also adapts to stimuli that may be
either,
– Fast adapting
– Slow adapting
•Adaptation of Receptors
– Mechanisms
– Slowly adapting receptors detect
continuous stimulus of same strength and
called “tonic
tonic”” receptors
– Rapidly adapting receptors detect change
in stimulus strength and thus termed as
dynamic, rate, movement or commonly as
phasic receptors.
Transduction by Receptors
• Local currents at nerve endings – receptor
potentials
– Mechanisms of receptor potentials
– Receptor potential amplitude.
– Relation of the receptor potential to action
potentials
Conversion of Receptor Potential
into Action Potential Through Threshold
Conversion of Receptor Potential into
Action Potential
in Paccinian Corpuscle
Relation Between Amplitude of Receptor Potential
& Stimulus Strength
Rapid & Slow Adaptation in Various Receptors
Classification & Function of Nerves
Types of Types of NCV
Motor Sensory Diameter Types of
Sensory Motor Meters/se
Functions Functions (u) Nerve Fibers
Nerves Nerves c
Skeletal Muscle
Muscle Type spindle & I, IA, IB Aα 120 20
Aα GTO
Skeletal Muscle
Muscle Type spindle & I, IA, IB Aα, Aβ 90 15
Aα GTO

Myelinated
Muscle
Spindle,
Skeletal Hair
Muscle & Receptors,
II Aβ, Aγ 60 10
Spindle vibration,
Type Aα high
discriminati
on
Hair
Receptor,
Deep
Muscle
Pressure,
Spindle III Aδ 30 5
touch,
Type Aγ
Pricking
Pain, Cold &
Warmth
Crude touch
& Pressure,
Sympathetic
Tickle &
Type C
Itching
IV C 62 to 0.5 12 to 0.5 Unmyelinated
fibers
Pain, Cold &
Warmth
Spatial Summation
Temporal Summation
Neuronal Pool
• Relaying of signals through
neuronal pools

– Organization of neurons
– Threshold and sub-
sub-threshold stimuli
– excitation and facilitation
– Inhibition of a neuronal pool
Discharge & Facilitated Zones of Neuronal Pool
DIRVERGENCE OF SIGNALS
THROUGH NEURONAL POOLS
CONVERGENCE OF SIGNALS
Conversion of Excitatory impulse into
Inhibitory in Neuronal Pool
AFTER
DISCHARGE
FROM
NEURONAL
POOL
– Synaptic after discharge
– Reverberatory (Oscillatory)
circuit, a cause of signal
prolongation
– Characteristics of signal
prolongation from a
reverberatoty circuit
Facilitation and Inhibition
in Neuronal Pool
Continuous Output through Reverberation in
Neuronal Pool
INSTABILITY AND STABILITY OF
NEURONAL CIRCUITS
STABILITY IN NERVOUS SYSTEM

• Inhibitory circuits as a mechanism for stabilizing nervous


system function
• Synaptic fatigue as a means of stabilizing the nervous
system
– Automatic short-
short-term adjustment of pathway
sensitivity by the fatigue mechanism
– Long-
Long-term changes in synaptic sensitivity
caused by automatic downgrading or
upgrading of synaptic receptors
Neural Fatigue