Perception of the mechanics of body position
Having discussed the two most important sensory systems, let us briefly deal with proprioception, i.e., the sensory system supplying information about the position and movements of the body and of its various parts. It is common experience that the position and movements of the head, limbs, and body in general are perceived without the control of the visual system. One is informed about the outstretched or bent position of one’s limbs, about one’s head facing forward or backward, and about one’s upright posture even with one’s eyes shut. The receptors of this sensory system are situated in the muscles and joint capsules, and in the vestibular apparatus of the inner ear. The name given to these receptors, proprioceptors,indicates that they inform us about the state of our own body (Latin proprius = own). Receptors in the skin, to be discussed later, also participate in signaling changes in body position; it is difficult to separate the touch and pressure senses from perception of body position.
KeywordsHair Cell Joint Angle Body Position Firing Frequency Semicircular Canal
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