Cutaneous Perception: Physiology

A major challenge in neurobiology is to understand how the brain constructs mental images of the world around us. The mental images that arise from the sense of touch are based on continuously changing patterns of electrical activity called action potentials that are evoked in the nerves that innervate the skin, muscles, and joints. The dynamic patterns of action potentials that come from the skin are the basis of cutaneous perception. These patterns are sent to the central nervous system via two main nuclei located in the brain stem and thalamus. Once the information reaches the cortex, it is systematically transformed through several processing stages into an alternate transformed pattern that is matched against previously stored patterns to evoke mental images of objects and surfaces ...

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