Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical.
an extensive group of sensory nerve endings, or receptors, which are distributed through the various tissues and internal organs (the heart, blood vessels, lymph vessels, respiratory apparatus, digestive tract).
The term “interoceptors” was proposed by the English physiologist C. Sherrington. According to functional classification, which takes account of the ability of interoceptors to react to a given type of stimulus, interoceptors are subdivided into barore-ceptors and mechanoceptors, which react to some form of tissue deformation; chemoreceptors, which are sensitive to chemical stimuli, including changes in metabolism; thermoreceptors, which are stimulated by changes in surrounding temperature; and osmoreceptors, which react to changes in osmotic pressure. The question of the existence of specific interoceptors that receive pain stimuli (so-called nociceptors) is as yet unsolved. Interoceptors may have free or encapsulated nerve endings. The so-called proprioceptors, found in the skeletal muscles, ligaments, and bursae, are also classified as interoceptors.
V. N. CHERNIGOVSKII