How does the nervous system differentiate different stimuli?

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Offline thedoc

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Matt Spencer asked the Naked Scientists:
Dear Chris,

This is a question for the Naked Scientists show that I was puzzled about.

How does the nervous system differentiate between different stimuli, and their order of importance? How does it differentiate between running away from danger and touching a hot saucepan? (In terms of action potentials?)

Thanks in advance,

Matt Spencer

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 09/10/2012 10:30:01 by _system »