The Location and Function of Different Skin Thermoreceptors
In the continuing endeavor to understand the fundamental principles of homeothermy, the clasical theories must be reassessed in the light of new findings and the interpretations that can be placed upon them. One long-standing theory is that the direction and density of heat flow through the skin of homeothermic organisms may selectively activate thermoreceptors lying at varying depth within the skin, and that a spectrum of different impulse frequencies in the thermosensor afferent nerve fibres may provide the central nervous system with information on the direction and rate of heat flow through the skin (Ebbecke 1917). In 1953, Hensel established that the latencies of changes in discharge frequency of skin thermoreceptors are not the same when a thermal stimulus is applied. The reason for these differences, and their physiological significance, remain unestablished. Whether the latencies in the responses of skin thermoreceptors to thermal stimulation can be correlated with the position of the receptors in the skin has now been investigated.
KeywordsHeat Content Calorimeter
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