Special Senses

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Chapter: Anatomy and Physiology for Health Professionals: Special Senses

The central nervous system (CNS) processes and inter-prets nerve impulses from sensory receptors that detect environmental changes.


Special Senses

After studying this chapter, readers should be able to:

1. Describe the sensory organs of taste.

2. Explain how the sense of taste depends upon the sense of smell.

3. Name the five primary taste sensations.

4. Explain the mechanism for the sense of smell.

5. Describe what is considered “normal vision” as well as being “legally blind.”

6. Identify the accessory structures of the eye.

7. Describe how refraction occurs within the eye.

8. Describe the structures of the middle and inner ear.

9. Distinguish between static and dynamic equilibrium.

10. Describe the parts of the inner ear and their roles in equilibrium.

Overview

The central nervous system (CNS) processes and inter-prets nerve impulses from sensory receptors that detect environmental changes. Feelings and sensations are the body’s responses to these nerve impulses. Receptors that function in the special senses are much more com-plex than those functioning in the general senses. The special senses are smell, taste, hearing, equilibrium, and sight. The general (somatic) senses are pressure, temperature, pain, and touch discussed in Chapter 13).

Special Senses

Although the general receptors of the sensory neurons are distributed widely throughout the body, the special sensory receptors are distinct receptor cells. They are located in the head region and are highly localized. Thespecial senses of smell, taste, hearing, equilibrium, and sight require large, complex sensory organs, including the olfactory organs, taste buds, ears, and eyes.

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