Sensory Receptors

What are sensory receptors and how do they limit or affect the kinds of things that an animal (or you) perceives in the world? Provide examples from the book, the news or your own experience.

Sensory receptors are cells that are specialized to sense environmental energies and convert them into action potentials. There are seven types of sensory receptors. Mechanoreceptors sense sound. Chemoreceptors detect specific molecules. Photoreceptors respond to light. Thermoreceptors perceive heat. Electroreceptors respond to electricity. Magnetoreceptors detect magnetic fields. Nociceptors sense pain.

Not all animals are equipped with each of these types of receptors. Humans cannot sense magnetic or electrical fields because we do not have the sensory receptors to do so. Animals also have limited ranges for perception. For example, humans are cannot hear every frequency of sound or see every wavelength of light.


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