noun, plural: chemoreceptors
(1) A sensory nerve cell or sense organ, as of smell, or taste, that are able to detect and respond to chemical stimuli.
(2) A sensory receptor that detects chemical stimuli in the environment and relay that information to the central nervous system.
Two main classes of chemoreceptors are direct and distance. Examples of direct chemoreceptors are taste buds, which are sensitive to chemicals in the mouth, and the carotid bodies and aortic goodies that detect changes in pH inside the body. Examples of distance chemoreceptors are olfactory cells, which detect certain chemicals in the air, and neurons in the vomeronasal organ that detect pheromones.
Word origin: chem-, extracted from CHEMICAL + late ME receptour < OF < L receptor.
Related forms: chemoreception (noun).
See also: sense organ.