What Are Phasic and Tonic Receptors?

By Staff WriterLast Updated Mar 25, 2020 7:55:43 AM ET

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.

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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.