Chapters 4 - Sensory systems 01. Sensory systems - Overview

01. Sensory systems - Overview

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The senses play a fundamental role in our lives. It is through our various sensory systems that we are linked to our environment and we are constantly aware of what is happening around us.

It is estimated that every second our brain receives more than one billion information from different sensory modalities [ 142 ]. This extremely huge number shows us how the nervous system is constantly linked to the environment.

Like many other species, we have several sensory modalities that detect several physical and chemical properties.

Thus, we have a fabulous light-sensitive visual system. With this system the electromagnetic waves are perceived as images full of meaning.

We also have a hearing system which detects the pressure variations as small aeric whether and converts them into an understandable sound.

Two other olfactory and gustatory chemical systems allow us to detect chemical particles and assign them smell and taste.

Another system equilibration informs us (consciously or not) of our position and movements in space.

And beyond all, we have an impressive sensory entity: The as important as vision and hearing somatosensory system. This system, diffuse and ubiquitous throughout the body [ 39 ], we are constantly information about our own bodies, that touches and especially what the threat.

The sensory systems are often made ​​of a receiver, a transmission channel and a receiving area and to the cortical perception of the brain. This is at the receiving member is that signal transduction is to say the conversion of the physicochemical properties of the electrical signals to be transmitted by the neurons.

The arrival of these electrical signals in primary cortical areas is only the first step in the assimilation of information in the brain. Indeed, it must be other cortical areas called associative where information provides a sense, this process is called perception.

Chapters 4 - Sensory systems 01. Sensory systems - Overview