What Are Phasic and Tonic Receptors?

Phasic and tonic receptors are two types of endings of sensory nerve cells. Phasic receptors respond quickly to stimuli, while tonic receptors adapt more slowly and over a more sustained period of time.

An example of a tonic receptor is a pain receptor. Once it gets stimulated, it sends a signal along the nerves to the brain as long as the pain stimulus continues.

A Pacinian corpuscle is an example of a phasic receptor. It is sensitive to vibrations and pressure and thus can detect different textures. A similar example is the Golgi-Mazzoni corpuscle, which is a phasic receptor located on the fingertips.