Somatosensory System Essay

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The somatosensory system is a portion of the nervous system that concerns the reception and perception of environmental and internal stimuli through receptors located around the body. This information manifests as pressure, pain, position, temperature, vibration and movement, and often tells the body of potentially dangerous stimuli (1). Stimuli is perceived externally through touch, called exteroception, and internally through the stimulation of muscles, joints and ligaments as proprioception. Once the information is collected through receptors, they are transmitted first to the spinal cord and then to the primary sensory cortex through a series of complex neural pathways. The specific pathway depends on the type and location of stimuli received. Once received the information is processed, an appropriate response…show more content…
First order neurons concern the initial nerve impulse from the receptor and transmission of the stimuli to the spinal cord. Interestingly, many of these neurons are psuedounipolar (2). They have two axons and a central cell body. The central bodies of these neurons are concentrated in the dorsal root ganglion, which is located in the dorsal root of a spinal nerve. This nodule allows for organization of the neurons, particularly the axons, which join to form neural fibers. The peripheral axons extend away the cell body and end where stimuli will be received. This is where the receptors are located (1). Sensory receptors detect changes in the immediate environment. The key distinction between different receptors lies in location, sensitivity and the ability to adapt to continuous stimulation. Exteroceptive receptors concern the external environment, proprioceptive receptors concern the position of the
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