- Sensory neuron
Sensory neurons are
neurons that are activated by sensory input (vision, touch, hearing, etc.), and send projections into the central nervous system that convey sensory information to the brain or spinal cord. Unlike neurons of the central nervous system, whose inputs come from other neurons, sensory neurons are activated by physical modalities such as light, sound, temperature, chemical stimulation, etc.
In complex organisms, sensory neurons relay their information to the
central nervous systemor in less complex organisms, such as the hydra, directly to motor neurons and sensory neurons also transmit information to the brain, where it can be further processed and acted upon. For example, olfactory sensory neurons make synapses with neurons of the olfactory bulb, where the senseof olfaction(smell) is processed.
At the molecular level,
sensory receptors located on the cell membraneof sensory neurons are responsible for the conversion of stimuli into electrical impulses. The type of receptor employed by a given sensory neuron determines the type of stimulus it will be sensitive to. For example, neurons containing mechanoreceptors are sensitive to tactile stimuli, while olfactory receptors make a cell sensitive to odors.
Peripheral nerve fibers can be classified based on axonal conduction velocity, mylenation, fiber size etc. For example, there are slow-conducting unmyelinated C fibers and faster-conducting myelinated Aδ fibers.
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