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By J. Dudel (auth.), Robert F. Schmidt (eds.)

ISBN-10: 3540158707

ISBN-13: 9783540158707

ISBN-10: 3642825982

ISBN-13: 9783642825989

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Sample text

8. 7 have small, sharply delimited receptive fields. 2 Proprioception In the waking state we are aware of the orientation of our limbs with respect to one another. We also perceive the movements of our joints, and we are able to state fairly accurately the amount of resistance opposing any movement we make. These abilities together constitute the deep sensibility mentioned at the beginning of this chapter. The three qualities of this modality are the senses of position, of movement, and of force; these will be discussed below.

Discomfort was minimal between 22° and 26°C, a range corresponding approximately to the normal skin temperature. 7 - about as large as the exponent measured for pain (Fig. 1-7). Pain could, after all, be regarded as an extreme form of discomfort. Discomfort and comfort, as a rule, have an effect on behavior. We avoid extremes of both cold and heat, and seek out pleasant warmth. The very sharp rise of discomfort during cooling perhaps protects us from the dangers of hypothermia. To conclude this incomplete outline of subjective sensory physiology, we should recall once again that we usually do not simply submit passively to sensations; rather, on the one hand they incite us to act, and on the other we often induce them actively by directed movements.

In another are the nociceptors, which respond only to stimuli that are harming or threaten to harm the body. Such stimuli are called "noxious" stimuli (the Latin "noxa" means "damage"). Mechanoreceptors are involved chiefly in the skin's sense of touch and in deep sensibility, thermoreceptors mainly mediate the sense of temperature, and chemoreceptors are most often associated with visceral sensibility. The signals received by the receptors for somatovisceral sensibility are transmitted to, and processed in, diverse parts of the peripheral and central nervous systems.

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Fundamentals of Sensory Physiology by J. Dudel (auth.), Robert F. Schmidt (eds.)


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