Lecture9_revised - Psychology 110 Biological Psychology...

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Psychology 110: Biological Psychology Lecture 9: Somatosensation
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Outline of Lecture 9 we first look at the different types of peripheral receptor in the skin responsible for touch perception. we will finish by looking at the perception of pain. we will then look at the representation of touch in the brain, and how that representation changes as we go from primary somatosensory cortex to association cortex.
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The skin The skin is the main organ of somatosensation. Buried inside it are several different types of neuron, each specialized for the processing of different types of information.
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Comparison of the receptors
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Response of the touch receptors to Braille characters The Braille characters were attached to a rotating drum. The finger was fixed in position. The drum was advanced in the y direction by 0.2 mm every rotation. A black dot was printed every time an action potential occurred in the nerve fibre (raster plot).
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Response of the touch receptors to Braille characters Have small receptive fields so their firing produces a faithful representation of the dots.
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Response of the touch receptors to Braille characters Respond as the skin is stretched by the dot, but very large receptive fields prevent a representation of form.
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Outline of Lecture 9 we first look at the different types of peripheral receptor in the skin responsible for touch perception. we will finish by looking at the perception of pain. we will then look at the representation of touch in the brain, and how that representation changes as we go from primary somatosensory cortex to association cortex.
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The touch pathway
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Primary somatosensory cortex Each area of the body projects to a specific location in the primary somatosensory cortex, to produce a somatosensory map.
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Somatosensory homunculus Each part of the body is drawn proportional to the area it occupies in primary somatosensory cortex.
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Cortical columns
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