Reading Guide and Review Questions What is the function of sensory receptors?

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Chapter 10: Somatic and Special Senses Reading Guide and Review Questions

  1. What is the function of sensory receptors?

  1. List five groups of sensory receptors and name the kind of change to which each is sensitive.

  1. Define sensation.

  1. Explain projection of a sensation.

  1. Define sensory adaptation and provide an example.

  1. Fill in the table below.

Cutaneous Receptors

Type of Receptor



Free nerve endings

Meissner’s corpuscles (mechanoreceptors)

Pacinian corpuscles

Temperature senses

Free nerve endings (pain receptors)

  1. Define referred pain and provide and example

  1. Explain why pain may be referred

  1. List the special senses.

  1. Describe the olfactory organs and their functions

  1. Label the olfactory illustration below. List the function of EACH label.

  1. Trace a nerve impulse from an olfactory receptor to the interpreting center of the cerebrum.

  1. Explain how salivary glands aid in the function of taste receptors.

  1. Label the taste bud picture below – listing all the functions of EACH label.

  1. Name the four primary taste sensations

  1. Draw a tongue and label the areas listed in #15.

  1. Trace the pathway of a taste impulse from a taste receptor to the cerebral cortex.

  1. Distinguish between the outer, middle and inner ear (in both function and structure)

  1. Trace the pathway of a sound wave from the eardrum to the hearing receptors.

  1. Describe the functions of the auditory ossicles and auditory tubes.

  1. Distinguish between the osseous and membranous labyrinths.

  1. Describe the cochlea and hearing receptors. What are their functions?

  1. Why does it help to chew gum while descending in an airplane?

  1. Distinguish between static and dynamic equilibrium.

  1. Fill in the table below.

Equilibrium organ/structure





Semicircular canals

Crista ampullaris



  1. List the visual accessory organs and describe the functions of each.

  1. How does the lacrimal apparatus protect the eye?

  1. What are the three layers of the eye wall?

  1. Fill in the table below.

Eye/Orbit muscles


Orbicularis oculi

Levator palpebrae superioris

Superior rectus

Inferior rectus

Medial rectus

Lateral rectus

Superior oblique

Inferior oblique

  1. Label the eye structure below. List the functions for the following structures: retina, pupil, vitreous humor, sclera, optic nerve, cornea, lens, iris.

  1. Explain how light waves are focused on the retina.

  1. Distinguish between rods and cones.

  1. Trace a nerve impulse from the retina to the visual cortex.

  1. People who are deaf due to cochlear damage do not suffer from motion sickness. Why?

  1. Why are astronauts unable to taste their food while eating in zero-gravity conditions?

  1. Why are some injuries, like a bullet entering your abdomen, less painful (relatively painless, actually), but others, such as a burn, are considerably more painful?

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