Sensory receptors are specialized cells that detect changes in the environment and convert these changes into electrical signals that can be processed by the nervous system. Sensory receptors are located in various parts of the body, including the skin, eyes, ears, nose, and mouth, and they play a crucial role in our perception of the world around us.
Sensory receptors include mechanoreceptor, photoreceptor, chemoreceptor, thermoreceptor, or nociceptors, which are all responsible for processing an environmental stimulus and converting it to electrical energy. This typically involves opening or closing of an ion channel in the receptor membrane leading to change in receptor potential. The stimulus features that can be encoded can include modality, spatial location, intensity, threshold, and duration of stimulus, which are all important features to assess when interpreting the external environment.