Sensory perception and integration
Sensation is the conscious interpretation of internal and external stimuli. The somatosensory division of the nervous system is that part that allows us to accurately make inferences about the external environment from receptors.
Two broad categories of sensory function:
• special senses (vision, hearing, taste, smell, equilibrium)
• somaesthetic/somatosensory/somatic sensation (comes from sensory receptors throughout body)
Sensations travel in spinothalamic tracts and gracile and cuneate fasciculi of spinal cord brainstem distributed by thalamus to the somatosensory area of parietal lobe
Each primary sensory area in cerebral cortex has an association area or secondary sensory cortex interprets sensory information
Olfaction and taste