Biology: The Dynamic Science (Mind...

4th Edition
Peter J. Russell + 2 others
ISBN: 9781305389892



Biology: The Dynamic Science (Mind...

4th Edition
Peter J. Russell + 2 others
ISBN: 9781305389892
Textbook Problem

An ambulance siren in close proximity to a dog can cause the dog to howl in pain. Which receptors are responsible for this response?

a. thermoreceptors and chemoreceptors

b. photoreceptors and nociceptors

c. mechanoreceptors and nociceptors

d. chemoreceptors and mechanoreceptors

e. photoreceptors and chemoreceptors

Summary Introduction


Sensory organs have sensory receptors that receive stimulus and send signals to the brain in central nervous system. The signals are sent in the form of action potential that are generated by influx of positively charged ions like sodium ions, potassium ions, and calcium ions inside the membrane of sensory neurons. The animals like dog and rats are subjected to Pavlovian studies in which they are trained to respond to the presence of an unpaired stimulus like salivating after hearing a bell, response of fear after seeing a tunnel and others.


Correct answer:

Mechanoreceptors and nociceptors get activated.


Explanation/justification for the correct answer:

Option (c) is given as nociceptors and mechanoreceptors. Nociceptors are pain receptors that are located in internal organs and in the skin. They detect damage in tissue via some chemical signals and register it as pain. The mechanoreceptors register any mechanical change in the environment. For example; the auditory canal has fine hair that move in response to sound waves.

Their movement generates action potential, which is transmitted to brain in its auditory cortex. A dog is conditioned in such a way that whenever hurt, it is taken in ambulance. So, after listening to the siren of the ambulance the dog’s memory automatically gets activated and it begins to howl. Hence, option (c) is a correct answer.

Explanation for incorrect answer:

Option (a) is given as thermoreceptors. Thermoreceptors detect changes in heat flow and are mostly located in skin. They do not play any role in the given situation. So, it is an incorrect answer.

Option (b) is given as chemoreceptors. Chemoreceptors are present in nose and tongue. The chemoreceptors present in tongue responds to chemicals present in food and the receptors in nose respond to chemicals that are present in air. So, it is an incorrect answer.

Option (d) is given as photoreceptors. The photoreceptors are located in vertebrates’ retina and respond to light energy. The siren of an ambulance sends auditory stimulus instead of visual stimulus so, nociceptors do not get activated when the dog just sees an ambulance. The siren does not activate a chemical stimulus but mechanoreceptors are activated inside ears. So, it is an incorrect answer.

Hence, options (a), (b), and (d) are incorrect.


Thus, it can be concluded that the dogs are subjected to Pavlovian studies in which they howl in the presence of an ambulance siren whenever they listen to an ambulance because their nociceptors and mechanoreceptors get activated in the presence of an ambulance siren. The nociceptors are pain receptors located in skin and mechanoreceptors are present in skin and auditory canal.

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