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15.9: Senses

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    • 15.9A: Mechanoreceptors
      We and other animals have several types of receptors of mechanical stimuli. Each initiates nerve impulses in sensory neurons when it is physically deformed by an outside force. Mechanoreceptors enable us to detect touch monitor the position of our muscles, bones, and joints — the sense of proprioception detect sounds and the motion of the body.
    • 15.9B: Hearing
      The sense of hearing is the ability to detect the mechanical vibrations we call sound. Sound waves pass down the auditory canal of the outer ear and strike the eardrum (tympanic membrane) causing it to vibrate. These vibrations are transmitted across the middle ear by three tiny linked bones, the ossicles.
    • 15.9C: Vision
    • 15.9D: Processing Visual Information
    • 15.9E: Vision in Arthropods
      The arthropod (e.g., insects, crustaceans) eye is built quite differently from the vertebrate eye (and mollusk eye). Arthropod eyes are called compound eyes because they are made up of repeating units, the ommatidia, each of which functions as a separate visual receptor.
    • 15.9F: Heat, Cold, and Pain Receptors
    • 15.9G: Taste
    • 15.9H: Olfaction - The Sense of Smell
      Smell depends on sensory receptors that respond to airborne chemicals. In humans, these chemoreceptors are located in the olfactory epithelium — a patch of tissue about the size of a postage stamp located high in the nasal cavity. The olfactory epithelium is made up of three kinds of cells: sensory neurons each with a primary cilium supporting cells between them basal cells that divide regularly producing a fresh crop of sensory neurons to replace those that die.
    • 15.9I: Electric Organs and Electroreceptors
      Electric organs are masses of flattened cells, called electrocytes, which are stacked in regular rows along the sides of certain fishes, e.g., the electric eel of South America. The posterior surface of each electrocyte is supplied with a motor neuron, the anterior surface is not.
    • 15.9J: Magnetoreceptors
      Evidence for an ability to alter their behavior in response to the earth's magnetic field has been found in many animals, including sea turtles, birds, fish (especially common in those that migrate), honeybees, mice as well as in some bacteria.

    15.9: Senses is shared under a CC BY 3.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by John W. Kimball via source content that was edited to conform to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.

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