1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Homework Help: Nervous message - nerves sensing heat & mechanical movement

  1. Dec 18, 2012 #1
    Nervous message -- nerves sensing heat & mechanical movement

    As we know when we stimulate a nerve, there is a message form of electric nature.
    But I want to ask how mechanical or heat or... stimulation is transformed into electric message?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 18, 2012 #2
    Re: Nervous message -- nerves sensing heat & mechanical movement

    All messages are transmitted the same way through the nervous fibers. When the nerve fiber is stimulated it creates an action potential that travels along the nerve pathway, or depending on the structure will jump quickly along the nerve generating action potentials at the node of ranvier. The message then travels to the brain where it is interpreted and transformed into a message that our body understands. i.e. heat, movement, electrical stimulation. I hope that answers the question. Please let me know.
  4. Dec 18, 2012 #3


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Re: Nervous message -- nerves sensing heat & mechanical movement

    The key web search term would be "sensory neurons":


  5. Dec 19, 2012 #4


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    2017 Award

    Re: Nervous message -- nerves sensing heat & mechanical movement

    The neurons responsible for sensing mechanical stimuli contain mechanosensitive ion channels that open and close in response to the mechanical deformation of the sensory neuron's membrane. The opening and closing of these channels will allow ions to cross the membrane, change the membrane potential of the neuron, and convert the mechanical sensation into an electrical signal.

    Similarly temperature sensitive neurons contain temperature-sensitive ion channels whose opening and closing are modulated by temperature. These channels are primarily from the TRP family of ion channels.

    While the molecules responsible for the sensation of mechanical and temperature stimuli have been identified, the molecular mechanisms by which they sense these stimuli is still unclear and is an active area of research.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook