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Any sense receptor at the surface of the body that transmits information about the external environment.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



any one of a large group of specialized sensory structures that perceive stimulation arising from the external environment. Exteroceptors are situated on the surface of the bodies of animals and humans (including the mucous membranes of the nose, mouth, and tongue). Depending on the nature of the stimulus perceived, a distinction is made between mechanoreceptors of the skin (tactile), chemoreceptors (gustatory and olfactory organs), thermoreceptors of the skin, photoreceptors, and receptors of the organs of hearing and equilibrium. Dolphins, bats, and noctuids have receptors sensitive to ultrasound; some fishes are sensitive to electric fields.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.