Ch. 14 Cutaneous Senses - notes/slides

35 terms by Lerpitt 

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This deck is a combination of information from the book and from lecture by the psychology professor. Taken from: Sensation and Perception 8e.

merkel receptors

are located near the border of the epidermis and surface of the skin, and are associated with sensing fine details.

spinothalamic; lemniscal

Ian Waterman was able to sense pain and temperature because his ________ pathway was intact, but could not feel touch and limb position because of damage to his ________ pathway.

smaller for the fingers than the forearm

The receptive fields of cortical S1 neurons are:

that you can use vibrations to perceive the texture of the surface

The demonstration in which you perceived the texture of a surface using your pen or another "tool" showed:

enclosure and contour following

Using haptic perception, the most likely used exploratory procedure(s) used to identify a soccer ball's exact shape.

carpal tunnel syndrome; tumor cells

Neuropathic pain: ________. Inflammatory pain: ________.

looking a pictures of attractive males

Lucky, a heterosexual female, would be able to keep her hand immersed in cold water longer if she was:

multimodal nature of pain

sensory and emotional components of pain

distressed; the ACC

When participants played an online game and felt they were being excluded from the game by the other "players," the participants reported feeling ________, and fMRI activity in ________ increased.


shows that some areas on the skin are represented by a disproportionately large area of the brain. Larger areas are given to body parts that will process complex types of information. (Latin for "little man".)

dermis and epidermis

contains four types of mechanoreceptors: merkel receptors, meisner corpuscle, ruffini cylinder, pacinian corpuscle.

merkel receptor

mechanoreceptor that fires continuously while stimulus is present and is responsible for sensing fine details

meissner corpuscle

mechanoreceptor that fires only when a stimulus is first applied and when it is removed (transient firing) and is responsible for controlling hand-grip

ruffini cylinder

mechanoreceptor that fires continuously to stimulation and is associated with perceiving stretching of the skin

pacinian corpuscle

mechanoreceptor that fires only when a stimulus is first applied and when it is removed and is associated with sensing rapid vibrations and fine texture

medial lemniscal pathway

consists of large fibers that carry proprioceptive and touch information. (One of 2 major pathways in the spinal cord that cross over to the opposite side of the body (contralateral) and synapse in the thalamus.)

spinothalamic pathway

consists of smaller fibers that carry temperature and pain information (One of 2 major pathways in the spinal cord that cross over to the opposite side of the body (contralateral) and synapse in the thalamus.)


location of the brain where signals come from prior to traveling to the somatosensory receiving area (S1) and the secondary receiving area (S2) in the parietal lobe.

cortical magnification

Body map (homunculus) on the cortex in S1 and S2 shows more cortical space allocated to parts of the body that are responsible for detail.

plasticity in neural functioning

leads to multiple homunculi and changes in how cortical cells are allocated to body parts. (cortical representation of a particular function can become larger if that function is used often.)

two-point threshold, grating acuity, raised pattern identification (Braille)

ways to measure tactile acuity


where a high density of merkel receptors are packed - similar to cones in the fovea - because it's an area that is most sensitive to details. Both two-point thresholds and grating acuity studies show these results.

receptive field

for a neuron in the cutaneous system, the area on the skin that, when stimulated, influences the firing rate of the neuron.

magnification factor

Body areas with high acuity have larger areas of cortical tissue devoted to them. Additionally, areas with higher acuity also have smaller receptive fields on the skin.

high rates of vibration

what nerve fibers associated with pacinian corpuscle (PCs) respond best to. (There must be changes in pressure to stimulate firing.)

response to vibration

What the structure of the pacinian corpuscle (PC) is responsible for. (Fibers without the PC only respond to continuous pressure.)

spatial and temporal

Katz (1925) proposed that perception of texture depends on two cues.

support for the role of temporal cues

is shown by recent research by Hollins and Reisner: In order to detect differences between fine textures, participants needed to move their fingers across the surface. fine = small gap in variations, course = large gap in variations.

Adaptation experiment by Hollins et al.

Results showed that only the adaptation to the 250-Hz stimulus affected the perception of fine textures. (The higher the frequency, the more muted the details were perceived.)

active touch

stimulus applied to an object where the object is the subject. Humans use this type of touch to interact with the environment. Touch in which the observer plays an active role in touching and exploring an object, usually with his or her hands.

passive touch

perceived as stimulus on the skin where the skin is the subject. A situation in which a person passively receives tactile stimulation that is presented by someone else.

haptic perception

the active exploration of 3-D objects with the hand.
- It uses three distinct systems
•Sensory system—touch, temp, texture
•Motor system—moving fingers and hands
•Cognitive system—interpreting information provided by above two systems

top down

the type of processing that is operating when engaged in haptic perception. (How long it takes to identify an item placed in your hand while blindfolded is based on expectations, knowledge of the item/situation.)

one to two seconds

the amount of time psychophysical research shows that people can identify objects haptically in.

exploratory procedures (EPs)

used by people when identifying objects. Klatzky et al. have shown that people tend to use only one or two to determine a particular quality. Four of these movements are:
-Lateral motion
-Contour following

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