TERM DATABASE

Chemical Receptors

Last update: September 15, 2022
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By BrainMatters

Chemical receptors (not to be confused with cell receptors) pick up chemical changes in the environment and convert them into electrical signals to the brain.

There are two types of chemical receptors:

Direct

A taste bud on your tongue is an example of a direct chemical receptor. On each papilla there are several bulges that pick up the perceived stimulus and convert it into an electrical signal. The brain then converts these signals into a perception (e.g. something tastes sweet).

Indirect

Olfactory receptors are an example of indirect chemical receptors. These receptors are located at the top of the nose and convert odours into electrical signals. Here too, these signals are converted by the brain into a perception, whereby, if necessary, the body is put into action. For example, when a smell of smoke is detected.

Author: Caroline Benjamins (translated by Thomas von Rein)

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