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How do sensory receptors function in detecting stimuli?

Sensory receptors detect stimuli by converting them into electrical signals that can be interpreted by the nervous system.

Sensory receptors are specialized cells that respond to specific stimuli such as light, sound, touch, taste, and smell. They are located in various parts of the body, including the skin, eyes, ears, tongue, and nose. When a stimulus is detected, the sensory receptor converts it into an electrical signal, which is then transmitted to the nervous system for processing.

The process of detecting a stimulus begins with the activation of the sensory receptor. This can occur through direct contact with the stimulus, as in the case of touch receptors in the skin, or through the binding of a molecule to a receptor, as in the case of taste and smell receptors. Once activated, the receptor generates an electrical signal known as a receptor potential.

The receptor potential is then transmitted to the nervous system through a process called transduction. In transduction, the receptor potential is converted into an action potential, which is a brief electrical signal that travels along the nerve fibre. The action potential is then transmitted to the brain, where it is interpreted as a specific sensation.

Overall, sensory receptors play a crucial role in detecting stimuli and allowing us to perceive the world around us. By converting stimuli into electrical signals that can be interpreted by the nervous system, sensory receptors enable us to experience sensations such as touch, taste, and smell, and to respond appropriately to changes in our environment.

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