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Online Assignment Week One

Sara Boland A & P II Professor Winters-Ricci 1/12/2012

Part One, Sensory Receptors: 1. Eyelashes. The eyelash is a mechanoreceptor that prompts blinking and squinting to protect the eye. The mechanoreceptor in the hair follicle is triggered by movement or pressure to the hair. 2. Rods. This sensory receptor is also located in the retina but more around the edges. The rods are photoreceptors that operate in dimmer light, such as nighttime and provide blurry peripheral vision that is not in color rather just in gray tones. 3. Cones. These are photoreceptors also found in the retina but rather than around the periphery, these are found in the macula lutea. The cones function in bright light and provide us with sharp, colorful images. There are three types of cones and each one absorbs a different color of light. They are thus named blue, green or red cones. Should a color that is a combination of these hues be perceived, two different kinds of cones are activated simultaneously. 4. Olfactory receptor cells. These are bipolar neurons located in the olfactory nerve within the nasal cavity. The neurons have radiating cilia which detect dissolved odorant that attach to protein receptors in the cilia. This process shows that they are chemoreceptors. 5. Taste Buds. Taste buds are sensory organs located on the tongue. They are chemoreceptors, are flask-shaped and are made up of epithelial cells. The taste cells are the gustatory cells and these cells have microvilli. The gustatory hairs (microvilli) come into contact with a flavor dissolved in saliva and bind to it.

6. Cochlea. This sensory receptor is located in the ear and processes sound. The cochlea is a spiral, cone-shaped chamber that is bony and extends from the vestibule. The cochlea has three chambers, the scala vestibuli, the scala media, and the scala tympani. The cochlea is lined with hairs which are the actual sensory receptors (mechanoreceptors). 7. Vestibule. Another sensory receptor located in the ear. The vestibule is a mechanoreceptor that deals with balance and equilibrium. Within the vestibule are two sacs containing fluid. These sacs respond to gravity or head movement and help maintain balance during movements.

Part Two, Pathways: Smell or Olfactory Pathway: 1. Olfactory Receptor cells-bundles of olfactory receptor cells, which detect odorants, make up the olfactory nerve. 2. Olfactory nerve-the receptor cells in the olfactory nerve synapse with the mitral (output cells) in the olfactory bulb. 3. Olfactory bulb-the mitral cells in the bulb amplify, refine and relay the scent signals along the olfactory tracts. 4. Olfactory tracts-transmit the signals from the olfactory bulb to the thalamus and the hypothalamus. 5. Thalamus-olfactory cortex which identifies and interpret smells. The thalamus works in conjunction with the hypothalamus, amygdala and limbic system. 6. Hypothalamus, Amygdala and Limbic System-evoke emotional response to odors.

Visual Pathway

1. Cornea-transparent front part of the eye that covers the iris, pupil and anterior chamber. Visual signals (light) enter the eye here, bends and travels through the aqueous humor of anterior segment. Works with the lens to refract light. 2. Aqueous Humor of Anterior Segment-located in the space between the cornea and the lens, this is a clear, gelatinous fluid. 3. Lens-transparent, biconvex structure that refracts light along with the cornea. The lens changes shape to focus at various distances. The lens focuses light through the vitreous humor and onto the retina. As light passes through the lens it bends, once as it enters the lens and once as it exits. 4. Vitreous Humor of Posterior Segment-clear gel that fills the posterior segment of the eyeball. The vitreous humor transmits light to the retina. It also supports the posterior surface of the lens. 5. Retina (Photoreceptors)-light sensitive (photoreceptor) tissue lining the inner surface of the eye. The innermost layer of the eyeball. The retina is made up of two layers, the pigmented layer and the neural layer. The neural layer contains the rods and cones which are the photoreceptors that convert light energy. The light energy is then passed to the bipolar cells. 6. Bipolar cells-neurons in the retina that communicate the light energy from the photoreceptors (rods and cones) to the ganglion cells.

7. Ganglion cells-innermost retinal neurons that produce action potentials. The axons of the ganglion cells leave the back of the eye as the optic nerve. 8. Optic Nerve-the thick bundle of ganglion cell axons that carries the synapses to the optic chiasm. 9. Optic Chiasm-an x-shaped structure where the optic nerves cross over each other and lead to the optic tract. 10. Optic tract-pathway from the optic chiasm to the thalamus. Contains optic nerves. 11. Thalamus (sensory integration center)-the Lateral Geniculate Nuclei in the thalamus relay information on movement, prepare for depth perception, emphasize visual inputs from cones and sharpen contrast information from the retina. The separate signal from both eyes are relayed to the visual cortex 12. Primary Visual Cortex (occipital lobe)-also called the striate cortex, contains a topographical map of the retina and process neurons respond to contrast information. The primary visual cortex provides further information including form, color and movement and sends them forward into more temporal, parietal and frontal parts of the brain.

Auditory Pathway

1. Auricle-the shell-shaped structure that most people call the ear. Surrounds the opening of
the external auditory meatus. It directs sound waves into the external auditory meatus.

2. External Auditory Meatus (canal)-A short curved tube that extends from the auricle to the ear
drum. The canal is lined with hairs, sebaceous glands and modified sweat glands called

ceruminous glands. The sounds waves travel down the auditory canal and hit the tympanic membrane.

3. Tympanic Membrane-or eardrum is the boundary between outer and middle ear. The
eardrum in a thin membrane made of connective tissue covered by skin externally and mucosa internally. Shaped like a flattened cone, its apex extends into the middle ear. The sound waves are transferred by the eardrum and made to vibrate into the middle ear.

4. Malleus-one of the auditory ossicles is a hammer-shaped structure attached to the eardrum.


Transmits the vibrations from the eardrum across the other two ossicles and into the oval window.

5. Incus-another of the auditory ossicles. The anvil-shaped structure between the malleus and
the stapes. The vibrations passed along by the malleus, pass across the incus and to the stapes.

6. Stapes-the final auditory ossicle is stirrup-shaped and fits into the oval window at its base.
The stapes transfer the vibrations from the incus to the oval window.

7. Oval Window-connects the middle ear to the inner ear and sets the fluids of the internal ear
into motion, exciting the hearing receptors.

8. Auditory Hair Cells (in spiral organ of Corti in cochlea)-the sensory receptors of the auditory
system. They have Afferent fibers of the cochlear nerve are wrapped around the bases of the hair cells. The hairs are vibrated by the sound waves from the eardrum and transmit information to the cochlear nerve.

9. Cochlear Nerve-a division of the vestibulocochlear nerve. The information from the spiral
structures travel down the cochlear nerve to the medulla.

10. Medulla-The auditory impulses travel through the spiral ganglion along the afferent fibers of
the cochlear nerve to the cochlear nuclei of the medulla

11. Inferior Colliculus (auditory reflex center in midbrain)-from the medulla, neurons project into
the superior olivary nucleus which lies at the junction of the medulla and the pons. Axons then ascend to the lateral leminiscus to the inferior colliculus which in turn projects to the thalamus.

12. Thalamus(sensory integration center)-axons of the thalamic neurons then project to the
primary auditory cortex

13. Primary Auditory Cortex (temporal lobe)-Provides conscious awareness of sounds.

Gustatory Pathway

1. Gustatory hair cells-long microvilli on the tip of the gustatory cell and extends through a
taste pore to the surface of the epithelium where it is bathed in saliva. Coiled around the gustatory cells are sensory dendrites which receive signals from within the taste bud and carry it to the cranial nerves.

2. Cranial Nerves (facial nerve, glossopharyngeal nerve, vagus nerve)-The facial nerve
transmits impulses from taste receptors in the anterior two thirds of the tongue. The glossopharyngeal nerve services the posterior third and the upper pharynx. Taste buds in the lower pharynx and the epiglottis are serviced by the vagus nerve which transmits the nerves.

3. Medulla Oblongata-the afferent fibers from the nerves synapse in the solitary nucleus of the
medulla oblongata

4. Thalamus-from the medulla, the impulses stream to the thalamus 5. Gustatory Cortex (in insula cortex) and Hypothalamus, Amygdala, Limbic System-the
impulses finally travel to the gustatory cortex, hypothalamus, amygdala and limbic system to elicit emotional responses to tastants.