So how does a sensation travel from you nerve sensors to the brain and back? Well the information passes in an impulse that travels down/up the nerve. The impulse movement is based entirely on the actions of positively charged sodium and potassium ions.
The nerve cell has three states: resting potential, repolarization, and depolarization. The resting potential is when there is no impulse travelling through the nerve cell; at this time it holds more positively charged sodium ions outside the cell membrane and more negative ions within. When a message is passed from the previous cell ion, the cell receives a rush of positive sodium ions with is called depolarization. This causes the cell to respond by repolarizing and a charge of positive potassium ions flows in the opposite direction, returning the cell balance back to its resting potential. The depolarization and repolarization triggers the same occurrences in the next cell and the impulse is sent down a neuron like a wave (Allen, et al., 2007).
When an impulse comes to the end of one neuron and the beginning of another there is a small space called a synapse or synaptic cleft. The impulse prompts the release of neurotransmitters that cross the synaptic cleft between the two neurons. This transfer of neurotransmitters can either trigger a new impulse or actively inhibit the impulse from firing (Allen, et al., 2007).
So what happens at the synapse between two neurons?
If you sustain permanent damage to your nerve endings you can loose feelings in those parts of your body. This can increase the risk of engaging in kink and fetish play. Some forms of BDSM play have a small window of safety and your risk of serious injury goes up if you are too slow to respond to danger because your nerve endings have lost sensation. Take care of your body and ensure that you always play safe.
Allen, M., Bagg, A., Hamilton, J., John, K., Fricker, J., de Burgh, J., et al. (2007). The Human Body Book. New York: DK Publishing.
Kalat, J. W. (2004). Biological Psychology 8th Edition. Toronto: Nelson Thomson Learning.
Someone else's art deserves recognition! The images presented in this article were borrowed from the following places:
Header Image: http://baef480c1b9a59094802-bb7fd020772cbf1cd099f3b22c712b0b.r79.cf2.rackcdn.com/f4bad255cb49b95b3ee31500b7d40023.jpg | Retrieved April 28, 2015
Image 1: Allen, M., Bagg, A., Hamilton, J., John, K., Fricker, J., de Burgh, J., et al. (2007). The Human Body Book. New York: DK Publishing.