Neurosciences - From Molecule to Behavior: a university textbook

pp 321-335



  • Jörg T. AlbertAffiliated withEar Institute, University College London Email author 
  • , Martin C. GöpfertAffiliated withDepartment of Cellular Neurobiology, University of Göttingen Email author 

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Mechanosensation, the ability to detect – and respond to – mechanical stimulus force, is a basic property shared by virtually all organisms and cells: tension forces acting on cells, for example, can influence cell shape by acting through integrin receptors, and mechanosensitive ion channels mediate volume changes in many pro- and eukaryotic cells. Dedicated mechanosensory (or mechanoreceptor) cells and organs are found in metazoans where they serve the detection of, e.g., medium flows, body movements, gravity, touch, sound, and noxious mechanical stimuli such as pinching of the skin.