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    Experiments on Sensory Adaptation

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    Experiments:

    1. Hypothetically by rubbing 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?

    2. Distribute one cup with sugar water and one with fresh water. Take a sip of the sugar water and swish it around in your mouth for several seconds without swallowing it; gradually, it should taste less sweet. After swallowing it (or spitting it back into the cup), taste from the cup containing fresh water. Did the taste of the fresh water surprise you? How?

    3. Fill 3 medium-sized bowls with (a) very hot (but not painfully so) tap water, (b) very cold tap water, and (c) a mixture of the very hot and very cold water. Arrange them, so your right hand is in front of the cold water, your left hand is in front of the hot water, and the lukewarm water is in the middle. Submerse your hands into the water (right into cold, left into hot) for about 3 minutes. After 3 minutes, quickly transfer both hands to the lukewarm (middle) bowl. What did you sense?

    QUESTIONS:

    In all experiments, you will experience Sensory Adaptation.

    o Can you describe the process and results of each experiment?
    o What is adaptation and how is it evident in each of these experimental results.
    o Comprehensively describe the sensory systems involved in these experiments, from the receptors all the way into the brain surrounding one of the sensory systems in regards to how we smell, touch, taste, and see.
    o How is adaptation important from an evolutionary perspective?

    Any help will be musch appreciated to help get me started. Thank you very much!

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    https://brainmass.com/psychology/cognitive-psychology/experiments-on-sensory-adaptation-239985

    Solution Preview

    RESPONSE:

    What do you think your reactions will be if you do the following:

    1. Hypothetically by rubbing 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?

    This experiment has to do with touch perception (e.g. skin receptors in the skin take in sensory stimuli and sends messages to the receptors in the brain and then you perceive the sensation). and sensory adaptation due to fatigue of receptors.

    The research/participant (you in this case) rubbed her/his index fingers gently over a piece of very coarse sandpaper a few times and rated its coarseness on a scale from 1 (very soft) to 7 (very coarse). After a minute or two, she/he rubbed the same finger over the paper and again rated its coarseness. Did your perception of the coarseness change?

    You should find that with repeated exposure to the course sandpaper you will rate the coarseness of the paper as being less course (e.g., first rating: 7; second rating: 4) (record your results). In other words, your perception of the degree of coarseness should change with repeated exposure.

    Your perception is the interpretation of what you take in through your senses, in this case through your touch. In touch sensation, your receptors located in your sensory organs (skin on finger) received and convert stimulus energies from your environment (touching the course sandpaper) into neural impulses. Sensory Adaptation occurs when your brain receptors and neurons adapt to certain stimulus, including smells, touch, sounds and sights. Thus, the results of the above experiment can be explained by sensory (touch) adaptation, which is the ...

    Solution Summary

    By addressing the questions for each experiment, this solution provides assistance with each experiment demonstrating sensory adaptation.

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