A sensory unit comprises a single afferent neuron, all its peripheral nerve endings (the receptive field) and all its ramifications in the CNS. In general, the receptive fields of sensory units overlap with each other.
Sensory receptors transduce environmental stimuli into depolarisation, whose magnitude is related to the intensity of the causative stimulus. Adaptation of receptors is produced by sustained depolarisation, which leads to a reduction in frequency of nerve action potentials generated by stimulation.
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