Biopsychology: Physiological Psychology by Sheila Hayward (auth.)

By Sheila Hayward (auth.)

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If insufficient transmitter is received, the message will lapse. This system also prevents random firings (generated by the brain itself, which hates inactivity) from being passed on as genuine messages. In addition, certain transmitters have an inhibitory action, that is to say they discourage firing. A balance of activating and inhibitory transmitters ensures the passage of genuine messages. However psychoactive drugs, such as amphetamines (see Section IV), often mimic the action of certain neurotransmitters, which is why people under the influence of drugs 'see' and 'hear' things that are not really there.

It is sensitive to vibration, and each movement produces a response in the corpuscle's axon. Ruffini corpuscles These are found mainly in hairy skin. Smaller than Pacinian corpuscles, they respond to fluttering movements or low-frequency vibration. Meissner's corpuscles These are found in papillae, small projections of dermis that have risen upward into the epidermis. These respond to mechanical stimuli, such as touch or pressure. Merkel's discs Usually found adjacent to sweat ducts and close to Meissener's corpuscles, they also respond to mechanical stimuli.

Shut your eyes and rub the fingers of one hand over sandpaper and the other on a very smooth surface (polished wood or shiny paper). After 30 seconds change both to a surface of intermediate roughnes (say leather or suede). Note the different sensation experienced by both hands. 2. ). After 30 seconds put both hands in tepid water. Note the different sensation experienced by both hands. 3. If you take a pair of dividers and lightly touch a fingertip, two points can be felt at a distance of only 2 mm apart, whereas on the arm you may find a distance of up to 30 mm.

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