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Ray Guillery

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198806738

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198806738.001.0001

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The pathways for perception

The pathways for perception

Chapter:
(p.26) Chapter 2 The pathways for perception
Source:
The Brain as a Tool
Author(s):

Ray Guillery

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198806738.003.0002

Chapter 2 outlines some of the evidence on which the seemingly strong standard view has been based. The early discovery that ventral nerve roots of the spinal cord provide a motor output and dorsal nerve roots provide a sensory input supported the dichotomy of the standard view. Then as each sensory pathway was traced to the thalamus for relay to the cortex, the separate inputs from the sensory receptors—visual, auditory, gustatory, and so on—could be seen as providing the cortex with a ‘view’ of the world. The nature of this view became strikingly clear once investigators could understand (read) the messages that pass along the nerve fibres on the basis of very brief changes in membrane potentials, the action potentials. However, many branches given off by sensory fibres on their way to the thalamus remain unexplained on the standard view. These are important for the integrative sensorimotor view and their precise functional roles need to be defined.

Keywords:   sensory pathways, thalamus, cortex, action potentials, integrative view of perception

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