Transduction (physiology)

The conversion of a stimulus sensed by a receptor cell into an electrical impulse, which is then transmitted by the nervous system. It is the absorption of energy from a stimulus and the conversion of that energy into electrical energy.

In physiology, transduction is the change of a stimulus from one form to another.

Principal steps of sensory processing.

Transduction in the nervous system means synaptic events where an electrical signal is converted into a chemical one by the release of neurotransmitters.

In sensory transduction a chemical or physical stimulus is transduced by sensory receptors into an electrical signal.

For example, in the visual system, sensory cells called rod and cone cells in the retina change the physical energy of light signals into electrical impulses that travel to the brain. The light causes a change in a protein called rhodopsin.[1]

In mammals, more light hitting the receptor results in the transduction of a signal into fewer electrical impulses. In invertebrates, more rhodopsin activation results in increased frequency of neuron firing.[2]

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  1. Molecular cell biology. Lodish, Harvey F. (4th ed.). New York: W.H. Freeman. 2000. ISBN 0-7167-3136-3. OCLC 41266312.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  2. Silverthorn, Dee Unglaub. 2004. Human Physiology: an integrated approach. 3rd Edition, San Francisco, CA.