sense organ

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Wikipedia.

sense organ

a structure in animals that is specialized for receiving external or internal stimuli and transmitting them in the form of nervous impulses to the brain

Sense organ

A structure which is a receptor for external or internal stimulation. A sense organ is often referred to as a receptor organ. External stimuli affect the sensory structures which make up the general cutaneous surface of the body, the exteroceptive area, and the tissues of the body wall or the proprioceptive area. These somatic area receptors are known under the general term of exteroceptors. Internal stimuli which originate in various visceral organs such as the intestinal tract or heart affect the visceral sense organs or interoceptors. A receptor structure is not necessarily an organ; in many unicellular animals it is a specialized structure within the organism. Receptors are named on the basis of the stimulus which affects them, permitting the organism to be sensitive to changes in its environment.

Photoreceptors are structures which are sensitive to light and in some instances are also capable of perceiving form, that is, of forming images. Light-sensitive structures include the stigma of phytomonads, photoreceptor cells of some annelids, pigment cup ocelli and retinal cells in certain asteroids, the eye-spot in many turbellarians, and the ocelli of arthropods. The compound eye of arthropods, mollusks, and chordates is capable of image formation and is also photosensitive. See Photoreception

Phonoreceptors are structures which are capable of detecting vibratory motion or sound waves in the environment. The most common phonoreceptor is the ear, which in the vertebrates has other functions in addition to sound perception. See Ear

Statoreceptors are structures concerned primarily with equilibration, such as the statocysts found throughout the various phyla of invertebrates and the inner ear or membranous labyrinth filled with fluid.

The sense of smell is dependent upon the presence of olfactory neurons, called olfactoreceptors, in the olfactory epithelium of the nasal passages among the vertebrates. See Olfaction

The sense of taste is mediated by the taste buds, or gustatoreceptors. In most vertebrates these taste buds occur in the oral cavity, on the tongue, pharynx, and lining of the mouth; however, among certain species of fish, the body surface is supplied with taste buds as are the barbels of the catfish. See Taste

The surface skin of vertebrates contains numerous varied receptors associated with sensations of touch, pain, heat, and cold. See Chemical senses, Cutaneous sensation, Sensation

Sense Organ


a specialized peripheral system by which an animal or human receives and partially analyzes various external stimuli. Each sense organ consists of receptors and auxiliary structures of varying complexity. The remote sense organs—the organs of sight, hearing, and smell—receive distant stimuli, while the organs of taste and touch receive stimuli only upon direct contact.

sense organ

[′sens ‚ȯr·gən]
A structure which is a receptor for external or internal stimulation.
References in periodicals archive ?
Contrary to the sense organs that are not different from the body (this being their matter), the intellect is separated by nature, although still potential as a matter of fact.
This is especially so, even among persons age 65 or over, for circulatory diseases, mental disorders, and to a lesser extent, injuries and poisonings and the nervous system and sense organs.
Fine-structure of cephalic sense organs in Meloidogyne incognita males.
Once in contact with the bottom, the larvae stopped for brief periods and probed the substratum with the apical ganglion (apical sense organ) and hood sense organ.
36) However, this debate again is neutral as regards the issue of direct versus representational realism: if a material alteration in a particular sense organ is a necessary condition for any perception, such an alteration can be acknowledged by the direct realist as a causal intermediary.
Antennal sensory system of the cockroach, Periplaneta american postembryonic development and morphology of the sense organs.
The researchers will try to mimic the sense organ found in fish, called the lateral line, which allows the fish to detect the flow of water around it and react to it.
12) He suggested that the received interpretation makes three mistaken claims: (a) that the Thomistic distinction between natural and spiritual reception of a sensible form is a distinction between a physical event taking place in a sense organ and a mental (nonphysical) event taking place in the soul; (b) that sensation involves a nonphysical event (the spiritual reception of a sensible form); (c) that the phantasmata, "which is the end product of the spiritual reception of a sensible form,"(13) is a mental image.
To reach the conclusion, Rodriguez's team took tissue from the vomeronasal organ - a pheromone-detecting sense organ found in the nasal cavity of mice, and some other mammals - and searched for genes expressing possible smell receptors.
Aristotle describes perception as the reception of the form of the sensible without its matter, but he also tells us that in perception the sense organ become "like" the sensible.
healthy soul, mind, sense organs, thus constituting a healthy lifestyle.