World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article


Article Id: WHEBN0000241851
Reproduction Date:

Title: Thermoception  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Sensory system, Sense, Warming lubricant, Special senses, Temperature
Collection: Perception, Sensory Systems, Temperature
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Thermoception or thermoreception is the Ciliopathy is associated with decreased ability to sense heat, thus cilia may aid in the process.[1] Transient receptor potential channels (TRP channels) are believed to play a role in many species in sensation of hot, cold, and pain. Mammals have at least two types of sensor: those that detect heat (i.e., temperatures above body temperature) and those that detect cold (i.e. temperatures below body temperature).

A particularly specialized form of thermoception is used by Crotalinae (pit viper) and Boidae (boa) snakes, which can effectively see the infrared radiation emitted by hot objects.[2] The snakes' face has a pair of holes, or pits, lined with temperature sensors. The sensors indirectly detect infrared radiation by its heating effect on the skin inside the pit. They can work out which part of the pit is hottest, and therefore the direction of the heat source, which could be a warm-blooded prey animal. By combining information from both pits, the snake can also estimate the distance of the object.

The Common vampire bat has specialized infrared sensors in its nose-leaf.[3][4] Vampire bats are the only mammals that feed exclusively on blood. The infrared sense enables Desmodus to localize homeothermic (warm-blooded) animals (cattle, horses, wild mammals) within an range of about 10 to 15 cm. This infrared perception is possibly used in detecting regions of maximal blood flow on targeted prey.

Other animals with specialized heat detectors are forest fire seeking beetles (Melanophila acuminata), which lay their eggs in conifers freshly killed by forest fires. Darkly pigmented butterflies Pachliopta aristolochiae and Troides rhadamathus use specialized heat detectors to avoid damage while basking. The blood sucking bugs Triatoma infestans may also have a specialised thermoception organ.

In humans, temperature sensation from thermoreceptors enters the spinal cord along the axons of Lissauer's tract that synapse on second order neurons in grey matter of the dorsal horn. The axons of these second order neurons then decussate, joining the spinothalamic tract as they ascend to neurons in the ventral posterolateral nucleus of the thalamus.

See also


  1. ^ "Can You Feel The Heat? Your Cilia Can". 2007-10-22. Retrieved 2011-09-03. 
  2. ^ E. A. Newman, P. H. Hartline (1982). The Infrared ‘vision’ of snakes. Scientific American 20:116-127.
  3. ^ L. Kürten, U. Schmidt, K. Schäfer (1984): Warm and Cold Receptors in the Nose of the Vampire Bat, Desmodus rotundus. Naturwissenschaften 71:327-28.
  4. ^ E. O. Gracheva, J. F. Codero-Morales, J. A. González-Carcaía, N. T. Ingolia, C. Manno, C. I. Aranguren, J. S. Weissman, D. Julius (2011). Ganglion-specific splicing of TRPV1 underlies infrared sensation in vampire bats. Nature 476:88-91.
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.