A cutaneous receptor is a type of sensory receptor found in the dermis or epidermis. These include Nociceptors (pain), Ruffini's end organ (sustained pressure), Meisner's corpuscle (changes in texture, slow vibrations), Pacinian corpuscle (deep pressure, fast vibrations), End-bulb of Krause, and Merkel's disc (sustained touch and pressure).
Cutaneous receptors are at the ends of afferent neurons. They are usually encapsulated in elaborate cellular corpuscles. Generally, they are linked to collagen-fibre networks within the capsule. Ion channels are situated near these networks.
In sensory transduction, the afferent nerves transmit through a series of synapses in the central nervous system, first in the spinal cord or trigeminal nucleus, depending on the dermatomic area concerned. One pathway then proceeds to the ventrobasal portion of the thalamus, and then on to the somatosensory cortex.