Unit nine the nervous system a general principles and sensory physiology
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Unit Nine: The Nervous System: A. General Principles and Sensory Physiology. Chapter 47: Somatic Sensations. I. General Organization, the Tactile and Position Senses. Guyton and Hall, Textbook of Medical Physiology, 12 th edition. Classification of Somatic Senses.

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Unit Nine: The Nervous System: A. General Principles and Sensory Physiology

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Unit nine the nervous system a general principles and sensory physiology

Unit Nine: The Nervous System: A. General Principles and Sensory Physiology

Chapter 47: Somatic Sensations. I. General Organization, the Tactile and Position Senses

Guyton and Hall, Textbook of Medical Physiology, 12th edition


Classification of somatic senses

Classification of Somatic Senses

  • Mechanoreceptic Somatic Senses- include both tactile

  • and position sensations stimulated by mechanical

  • displacement

  • Thermoreceptive Senses- detect heat and cold

  • Pain Sense- activated by factors that damage tissues


Other classifications of somatic senses

Other Classifications of Somatic Senses

  • Exteroreceptive Sensations- from the surface of the body

  • Proprioceptive Sensations- relating to the physical state

  • of the body (position, tendons, muscles, equilibrium)

  • Visceral Sensations- sensations from the internal organs

  • Deep Sensations- come from the deep tissues (fascia,

  • muscles, and bone)


Detection and transmission of tactile sensations

Detection and Transmission of Tactile Sensations

  • Interrelaitons Among the Tactile Sensations of Touch,

  • Pressure, and Vibration- three principle differences

    • Touch sensation generally results from stimulation of

    • tactile receptors in the skin or s.c. tissues

    • Pressure sensation generally results from deformation

    • of deeper tissues

    • Vibration sensation results from rapidly repetitive

    • sensory signals


Detection and transmission of tactile sensations1

Detection and Transmission of Tactile Sensations

  • Tactile Receptors

    • Free nerve endings- found everywhere in the skin and in

    • many other tissues; can detect touch and pressure

    • Meissner’s Corpuscles- touch receptor with great sensitivity;

    • elongated, encapsulated nerve ending of a large myelin-

    • ated nerve fiber; present in the non-hairy areas of the skin

    • (i.e. the fingertips)


Detection and transmission of tactile sensations2

Detection and Transmission of Tactile Sensations

  • Tactile Receptors (cont.)

    • Merkel’s discs- expanded tip tactile receptor; transmit an

    • initially strong but partially adapting signal and then a

    • continuing weaker signal that adapts slowly; found in the

    • hairy parts of the skin; often grouped together in a “Iggo

    • dome receptor”


Detection and transmission of tactile sensations3

Detection and Transmission of Tactile Sensations

  • Tactile Receptors (cont.)

Fig. 47.1 Iggo dome receptor containing multiple layers of

Merkel’s discs connected to a single large

myelinated nerve fiber


Detection and transmission of tactile sensations4

Detection and Transmission of Tactile Sensations

  • Tactile Receptors (cont.)

  • d. Hair end organ- touch receptor around each hair;

  • movement and initial contact with the body

  • e. Ruffini’s endings- multibranched encapsulated, adapt

  • slowly; prolonged touch and pressure sensations;

  • found in joint capsules


Detection and transmission of tactile sensations5

Detection and Transmission of Tactile Sensations

  • Transmission of Tactile Signals in Peripheral Nerve Fibers

  • Detection of Vibration

  • Detection of Tickle and Itch by Mechanoreceptors


Sensory pathways for transmitting somatic signals into the cns

Sensory Pathways for Transmitting Somatic Signals into the CNS

  • Dorsal Column- Medial Lemniscal System

    • Touch sensations requiring high degree of localization

    • Touch sensations requiring transmission of fine

    • gradations of intensity

    • Phasic sensations, such as vibratory sensations

    • Sensations that signal movement against the skin

    • Position sensations from the joints

    • Pressure sensations related to fine degrees of

    • judgment of pressure intensity


Sensory pathways for transmitting somatic signals into the cns1

Sensory Pathways for Transmitting Somatic Signals into the CNS

  • Anterolateral System

    • Pain

    • Thermal sensations, both warm and cold

    • Crude touch and pressure

    • Tickle and itch sensations

    • Sexual sensations


Sensory pathways for transmitting somatic signals into the cns2

Sensory Pathways for Transmitting Somatic Signals into the CNS

  • Anatomy of the Dorsal Column

Fig. 47.2


Sensory pathways for transmitting somatic signals into the cns3

Sensory Pathways for Transmitting Somatic Signals into the CNS

  • Anatomy of the Dorsal Column

Fig. 47.3

Fig. 47.4


Sensory pathways for transmitting somatic signals into the cns4

Sensory Pathways for Transmitting Somatic Signals into the CNS

  • Somatosensory Cortex

Fig. 47.5 Structurally distince areas, called Brodmann’s areas of the

human cerebral cortex


Sensory pathways for transmitting somatic signals into the cns5

Sensory Pathways for Transmitting Somatic Signals into the CNS

  • Somatosensory Cortex

    • Sensory signals from all modalities terminate just

    • posterior to the central fissure

    • Anterior half of the parietal lobe-reception and

    • interpretation of somatosensory signals

    • Posterior half of t he parietal lobe-provides still

    • higher levels of interpretation

    • Visual signals terminate in the occipital lobe

    • Auditory signals terminate in the temporal lobe

    • Anterior to the central fissure is the motor cortex


Sensory pathways for transmitting somatic signals into the cns6

Sensory Pathways for Transmitting Somatic Signals into the CNS

  • Somatosensory Areas I and II

Fig. 47.6 Two somatosensory cortical areas; I and II


Sensory pathways for transmitting somatic signals into the cns7

Sensory Pathways for Transmitting Somatic Signals into the CNS

  • Spatial Orientation of Signals from Different Parts of

  • the Body in Area I

Fig. 47.7 Sensory homunculus


Sensory pathways for transmitting somatic signals into the cns8

Sensory Pathways for Transmitting Somatic Signals into the CNS

  • Layers of the Somatosensory Cortex and Their Function-

  • contains six layers of neurons (#1 is next to the brain

  • surface)

Fig. 47.8


Sensory pathways for transmitting somatic signals into the cns9

Sensory Pathways for Transmitting Somatic Signals into the CNS

  • Layers of the Somatosensory Cortex and Their Function

    • Incoming sensory signal excites layer IV first; signal

    • spreads toward the surface and also deeper layers

    • Layers I and II receive diffuse nonspecific input signals

    • Neurons in II and III send axons to related portions of

    • the cerebral cortex and to the opposite hemisphere via

    • the corpus callosum

    • Neurons in V and VI send axons to deeper parts of the

      • nervous system


Sensory pathways for transmitting somatic signals into the cns10

Sensory Pathways for Transmitting Somatic Signals into the CNS

  • Sensory Cortex is Organized in Vertical Columns

    • Each column detects a different sensory spot on the

    • body with a specific sensory modality

  • Functions of Somatosensory Area I-bilateral excision

  • cause the following types of sensory judgement:

    • Person is unable to localize discretely the different

    • sensations in different parts of the body; can

    • localize the sensations crudely


Sensory pathways for transmitting somatic signals into the cns11

Sensory Pathways for Transmitting Somatic Signals into the CNS

  • Functions of Somatosensory Area I

    • Person is unable to judge critical degrees of pressure

    • against the body

    • Person is unable to judge the weights of objects

    • Person is unable to judge shapes or forms of objects

    • Person is unable to judge texture of materials


Sensory pathways for transmitting somatic signals into the cns12

Sensory Pathways for Transmitting Somatic Signals into the CNS

  • Somatosensory Association Areas

    • a.Brodmann’s Areas 5 and 7- play an important role in

    • deciphering deeper meanings of the sensory information

    • Receives information from somatosensory area I, ventro-

    • basal nuclei of the thalamus, other areas of the thalamus,

    • visual cortex, and the auditory cortex


Sensory pathways for transmitting somatic signals into the cns13

Sensory Pathways for Transmitting Somatic Signals into the CNS

  • Overall Characteristics of Signal Transmission and

  • Analysis in the Dorsal Column- (lower part of Fig. 47.9)

Fig. 47.9 Transmission of a pinpoint stimulus

signal to the cerebral cortex


Sensory pathways for transmitting somatic signals into the cns14

Sensory Pathways for Transmitting Somatic Signals into the CNS

  • Two-Point Discrimination

Fig. 47.10 Transmission of signals to the

cortex from two adjacent

pinpoint stimuli


Sensory pathways for transmitting somatic signals into the cns15

Sensory Pathways for Transmitting Somatic Signals into the CNS

  • Effect of Lateral Inhibition- increases the degree of

  • contrast in the perceived spatial pattern

    • Virtually every sensory pathway, when excited, gives

    • rise simultaneously to lateral inhibitory signals

    • Importance of lateral inhibition is that it blocks the

      • lateral spread of excitatory signals and therefore,

      • increases the degree of contrast in the sensory pattern

      • perceived in the cerebral cortex

    • In the dorsal column lateral inhibition signals occur at

    • each synaptic level


Sensory pathways for transmitting somatic signals into the cns16

Sensory Pathways for Transmitting Somatic Signals into the CNS

  • Transmission of Rapidly Changing and Repetitive

  • Sensations- dorsal column can recognize changing

  • stimuli that occur in as little as 1/400 of a second

  • Vibratory Sensation- rapidly repetitive and can be

  • detected up to 700 cycles/second


Sensory pathways for transmitting somatic signals into the cns17

Sensory Pathways for Transmitting Somatic Signals into the CNS

  • Position Senses (Proprioceptive Senses)- two subtypes:

  • (1) static position sense, and (2) rate of movement

  • sense (kinesthesia or dynamic proprioception)

    • Knowledge of position depends on knowing the degrees

    • of angulation of all joints in all planes and their rates of

    • change

    • Multiple different types of receptors are used:

      • Deep receptors

      • Corpuscles

      • Muscle spindles, etc.


Sensory pathways for transmitting somatic signals into the cns18

Sensory Pathways for Transmitting Somatic Signals into the CNS

  • Processing of Position Sense Information- thalmic

  • neurons responding to joint rotation are of two

  • types:

    • Those maximally stimulated when the joint is at

    • full rotation

    • Those maximally stimulated when the joint is at

    • minimal rotation


Unit nine the nervous system a general principles and sensory physiology

Fig. 47.12 Typical responses of five different thalamic neurons when the

knee joint is moved through its range of motion


Transmission of less critical sensory signals in the anterolateral pathway

Transmission of Less Critical Sensory Signals in the AnterolateralPathway

  • Anterolateral Pathway

    • Transmits sensory signals that do not require highly

    • discrete localization or discrimination of fine

    • gradations of intensity

      • Pain

      • Heat and cold

      • Crude tactile

      • Tickle and itch

      • Sexual sensations


Transmission of less critical sensory signals in the anterolateral pathway1

Transmission of Less Critical Sensory Signals in the AnterolateralPathway

  • Anatomy of the Anterolateral Pathway

Fig. 47.13


Transmission of less critical sensory signals in the anterolateral pathway2

Transmission of Less Critical Sensory Signals in the AnterolateralPathway

  • Characteristics of Transmission

    • Velocity of transmission is 1/3 of that of the dorsal column

    • Degree of spatial localization of signals is poor

    • Gradations of intensities are less accurate

    • Ability to transmit rapidly changing or repetitive

    • signals is poor


Transmission of less critical sensory signals in the anterolateral pathway3

Transmission of Less Critical Sensory Signals in the AnterolateralPathway

  • Segmental Fields of Stimulation—Dermatomes

    • See Fig. 47.14 in the text


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