Copyright ©Mark Nelson, 2002. All rights reserved.
Chapter 9: Properties of Sensory Systems
What you need to know
(exam questions will be a drawn from this subset of material)
What is the "law of specific nerve energies"? (p. 210-211)
Does the "law of specific nerve energies" arise because each sensory nerve
only responsds to one type of stimulus energy? (p.
What does sensory nerve activity give rise to one particular subjective
sensation? (p. 211)
What is synesthesia? (p. 211)
What names are used to categorize sensory receptors based on the type of
energy to which they are most sensitive? (p. 212-213)
What's the difference between a sense organ and a sensory receptor?
What is sensory filtering? (p. 213)
What is sensory transduction? (p. 213-214)
What is a receptor potential? (p. 213-214)
Do sensory receptors generate action potentials ? (p.
What is a generator potential? (p. 214)
What is sensory coding? (p. 215-217)
What is a common way that sensory receptors are thought to encode stimulus
strength? (p. 217)
What is sensory adaptation? (p. 218-220)
What do the terms tonic, phasic, and phasi-tonic refer to?
Sketch a representative (receptor potential / generator potential
/ spike train) for a (phasic / tonic / phasi-tonic)
in response to constant-amplitude step stimulus? (p. 219)
What is the receptive field of a sensory neuron? (p. 221)
What is contrast enhancement? (p. 222)
What is lateral inhibition? (p. 223)
What is the relationship between sensory adaptation and lateral
inhibition? (p. XX)
What is range fractionation? (p. 226-227)
What are the functional advantages of range fractionation? (p. 227)
What is topographic organization? (p. 227-228)
What are the specific terms used for topographic organization in the (visual
/ auditory / somatosensory) systems? (p. 228)
What is columnar organization? (p. 229-230)