noun, plural: mechanoreceptors
A sensory receptor chiefly in the skin or in the body surface of an organism used for the sense of touch and detection of external stimuli such as mechanical pressure or distortion.
Mechanoreceptors are one of the neural receptors in a somatosensory system. They are primarily involved in recognizing different mechanical stimuli. Example is the touch receptor in the skin.
Insects are popular example of group of organisms with specialized structures for mechanoreception. They have three major types of mechanoreceptors:
- cuticular mechanoreceptor
- chordotonal mechanoreceptor
- stretch mechanoreceptor
Word origin: Greek mēkhano- , from mēkhanē, (machine) + receptor
Compare with other receptors in somatosensory system: