Temperature sensation rests with receptors in three key sites:
- peripheral thermoreceptors: present in skin as free nerve endings of A and C type fibres
- central thermoreceptors: two types of receptor are found in the preoptic area of the anterior hypothalamus. One group responds to relative warmth, the other to relative cold.
- other sites:
- spinal cord
- abdominal viscera
- great veins
Cold thermoreceptors tend to be present in greater numbers. This is likely to be an adaptation to prevent hypothermia.