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

Neuromast function is best described as:

a. nonadapting pain receptors.

b. stereocilia that bend and generate action potentials.

c. statoliths that detect motion.

d. motor axons that activate motion.

e. cupulas that detect vibrations.

Summary Introduction


The auditory canal of human ear contains small hair like structures that are called stereocilia. These sensory hairs move in response to a sound wave along with cupula and endolymph, and generate action potential by opening the potassium ion channels in the auditory nerves. The action potential is carried to the auditory cortex of brain.


Explanation/justification for the correct answer:

Option (b) states that the lateral line system of fishes and other aquatic organisms allow them to detect the vibrations in water. The lateral line system is a series of organs those are present along the length of the organisms. The mechanoreceptors present in fishes are called as neuromasts. The neuromasts also assist in detection of the velocity with which fish swims and its alignment with respect to gravity. The sensory hair cells are present at the base of each neuromast that changes its direction in response to the movemnt of cupula.

The working mechansim of hair cells is similar to that of vertebrates, where action potential is generated due to opening pf potassium ion channels in the membrane of hair cells. The vibrations are detected by neuromasts and allow animals to detect any obstacle in its way. Hence, option (b) is a correct answer.

Explanation for incorrect answer:

Option (a) states that the pain receptors are nociceptors that are located in skin and certain internal organs. Pain receptors are activated in response to certain chemicals that are released due to damage in the skin...

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