Adaptation And Sensory Perception Essay

1310 words - 5 pages

Abstract In this paper, I will explain how adaptation and sensory perception played a role in three sensory experiments I conducted. I will also explain how the sensory system was involved in my experiment. This will begin with the receptors and continue through to the brain.The sensory system brings information regarding our environment to our brains. They help us to interact with our environment. The sensory system is made up of five senses, which correspond to five sense organs. The five senses are vision, hearing, taste, touch, and smell. These correspond with the eyes, ears, tongue, skin, and nose. Each of these contains sensory neurons, which transmit impulses to the central nervous system. The information is processed and from that we receive a perception which we interpret and which may change our behavior accordingly. This is called Transduction which is the process of the receptors changed the information they receive into a form which the nervous system can utilize.Sensory adaptation occurs when the stimulation we are receiving is constant and unchanging (Wade & Tavris, 2006, p 219). Your sensitivity to the stimuli lessens when you are subjected to it continuously. A good example of this would be if you moved to a high traffic area. When you first moved there, you would hear the noise of the cars driving by all the time. After an undetermined amount of time living there, you would eventually not hear the sounds. It would become a background noise. This can also have an adverse reaction. You could become adapted to the smell of natural gas. In the event of a gas leak you may not smell the danger until it was too late especially if the leak occurred while you were sleeping and not conscious to interpret the smell as a danger (Wade & Tavris, 2006, p 184).Another example utilizing the sense of smell would be if you were not a smoker and started smoking. As a nonsmoker, you would be able to detect the smell of smoke from a smoker easily. Once you started to smoke, it would become increasingly difficult to detect another smoker from your sense of smell.The human body needs stimulation in order to cope with their environment. If you do not have enough stimuli you can also suffer from sensory deprivation. The opposite is also true that if you have too much stimuli you will suffer from sensory overload.I will explain how the sensory system and adaptation is involved in each of the experiments, which I conducted.Experiment 1: Rub your index fingers gently over a piece of very coarse sandpaper a few times and rate its coarseness on a scale from 1 (very soft) to 7 (very coarse). After a minute or two, rub the same finger over the paper and again rate its coarseness. Did your perception of the coarseness change? How? The first time I rubbed my right index finger across the number 60 coarse sandpaper six times back and forth. In my opinion, it felt very coarse. I would gauge it at seven, which is the highest end of the spectrum. After...

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