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Receptor Adaptation


You are measuring the response of two different touch receptors to different pressure stimuli.

First, you present both cells with a long constant pressure (Experiment #1).

Cell A responds to the onset of the stimulus but its firing rate decreases quickly.

Cell B responds more slowly to the onset of the stimulus, but fires at a relatively constant rate until the stimulus is removed.

The maximum firing rate of Cell A and Cell B in Experiment #1 is the same.

Ashley Nielsen. Created for Copyright 2016. All rights reserved

You are planning a new experiment in which you will present the cells with a stimulus which turns on and off every sec (Experiment #2).

Using what you have learned from Experiment #1, which of the following results do you predict will happen in Experiment #2?


Cell A will have a larger relative response than Cell B.


Cell A will respond to the first pulse, but its firing rate will decay for the following pulses.


Cell B will respond more strongly in Experiment #2 than in Experiment #1.


Cell B will have a linear increase in response following each pulse.


Both cells will respond exactly as in Experiment #1.