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Vertebrate sensory neurons occupy a unique place in the nervous system, conveying information from the periphery to the CNS. While sensory physiologists have long recognized differences in response properties among cells in dorsal root and cranial ganglia, the full extent of heterogeneity among these neurons has only recently become apparent. Phenotypic diversity is the underlying theme of this unique work, which summarizes our current understanding of the individual characteristics and development of sensory neurons. The chapters are arranged in three cohesive sections. The first describes heterogeneity in the function, biochemical make-up, ion channels, membrane properties, and central projection patterns of dorsal root ganglion neurons. The second section discusses the development of sensory neurons, covering such topics as the origins of dorsal root and cranial ganglia, adhesive interactions involved in axon outgrowth, trophic dependence of sensory neurons, and the development of the physiological properties and central and peripheral connections of dorsal root ganglion neurons. The last section explains regeneration and plasticity of mature neurons, including sprouting of skin sensory axons, plasticity in central terminations, axotomy and regeneration, and the continuing role of neurotrophic factors in adult neurons.