Introduction: What You See Is What You Get

PART I  Sensory Processing and the Somatosensory System

Sensory Systems Detect Various Forms of Energy

Receptor Cells Convert Sensory Signals into Electrical Activity

Sensory Information Processing Is Selective and Analytical

Sensory events are encoded as streams of action potentials

Sensory neurons respond to stimuli falling in their receptive fields

Receptors may show adaptation to unchanging stimuli

Sometimes we need receptors to be quiet

Successive Levels of the CNS Process Sensory Information

Sensory cortex is highly organized

Sensory brain regions influence one another and change over time

PART II  Pain: The Body’s Emergency Signaling System

Human Pain Varies in Several Dimensions

A Discrete Pain Pathway Projects from Body to Brain

Peripheral receptors get the initial message

SIGNS & SYMPTOMS: A Professional Eater Meets His Match

Special neural pathways carry pain information to the brain

Pain Control Can Be Difficult

Analgesic drugs are highly effective

Electrical stimulation can sometimes relieve pain

Placebos effectively control pain in some people, but not all

Activation of endogenous opioids relieves pain

PART III  Movement and the Motor System

Behavior Requires Movements That Are Precisely Programmed and Monitored

A Complex Neural System Controls Muscles to Create Behavior

Muscles and the skeleton work together to move the body

Sensory feedback from muscles, tendons, and joints governs movement

The spinal cord mediates “automatic” responses and receives inputs from the brain

Motor cortex plans and executes movements—and more

RESEARCHERS AT WORK: Mirror neurons in premotor cortex track movements in others

Extrapyramidal systems regulate and fine-tune motor commands

Damage to extrapyramidal systems impairs movement