Afferent

Neuro term. 1. A nonverbal sign received, as opposed to one sent (see EFFERENT CUE). 2. An incoming sign received by receptors in our eyes, ears, nose, mouth, skin, hair follicles, muscles, tendons, joints, vestibular apparatus, or viscera, relayed to centers in the spinal cord and brain for processing. 3. Our bones and teeth conduct incoming signs of vibration and temperature; otolith organs and semicircular canals process signs of motion, balance, and gravitational force. 4. Additionally, pleasure areas of the brain respond to the afferent cues of sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll.

Usage: As concepts, afferent and efferent reflect the two sides of every nonverbal cue: (1) ingress (i.e., as an in-bound sign to be processed) and (2) egress (i.e., as an out-bound sign to be produced).

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