Sensory Adaptation Experiment
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Sensory Adaptation Experiment

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Three experiments have been conducted and recorded in this Article in order to experience Sensory Adaptation. You will be able to identify with the process and results of each experiment as well as ...

Three experiments have been conducted and recorded in this Article in order to experience Sensory Adaptation. You will be able to identify with the process and results of each experiment as well as learn what Adaptation is. Adaptation is evident in each of the experiment results described and the Sensory Systems that are involved in these experiments will be described from the receptors all the way into and including the brain. Theories were used that surround one of the Sensory Systems in regards to how we smell, touch, taste, see, and hear. This article will also show how adaptation is important from an evolutionary perspective. The Thesis for this Article is “Intoxicated with Sensory Pleasures, we all are unguarded”

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Sensory Adaptation Experiment Sensory Adaptation Experiment Document Transcript

  • Running Head: SENSORY ADAPTATION EXPERIMENT<br />Biological Influences<br />Carla J. McCoy<br />Unit 2 Discussion Board – Aspects of Psychology<br />American InterContinental University<br />January 18th, 2009<br />Abstract<br />Three experiments have been conducted and recorded in this Article in order to experience Sensory Adaptation. You will be able to identify with the process and results of each experiment as well as learn what Adaptation is. Adaptation is evident in each of the experiment results described and the Sensory Systems that are involved in these experiments will be described from the receptors all the way into and including the brain. Theories were used that surround one of the Sensory Systems in regards to how we smell, touch, taste, see, and hear. This article will also show how adaptation is important from an evolutionary perspective. The Thesis for this Article is “Intoxicated with Sensory Pleasures, we all are unguarded”<br />Introduction<br />Sensory Adaptation will give individuals the experience of learning a change in perception of what messages are sent to the brain and how the brain deals with them. Everyone has Senses, but not everyone exercises those senses allowing the brain to process the experience. This paper will discuss the Sensory Adaptation of rubbing my index fingers over a piece of coarse sandpaper a few times, rating it’s coarseness on a scale from 1 (very soft) to 7 (very coarse), not once, but twice in order to gain an opinion of whether or not my perception of coarseness changed. I will also take one cup with sugar water and one with fresh water, first taking a sip of the sugar water and swishing it around in my mouth for a few seconds before spitting it out, then tasting the fresh water to see what perception I receive. Three medium sized bowls will be placed in front of me in order for me to submerse my hands into. One bowl of water will be a mixture of very hot and very cold water, another bowl will contain very cold tap water, and the last bowl will contain very hot tap water. I will submit my right hand into the cold water while my left hand will be submersed at the same time into the hot water for approximately 3 minutes. Once the three minutes are up, I will then transfer both of my hands to the lukewarm water filled bowl and explain what I sensed. (McCoy, C., 2009)<br />Process and Results of Each Experiment<br />
    • Sensory Adaptation of Sandpaper – After obtaining a very coarse piece of sandpaper, I proceeded to rub my index fingers gently on top of it a few times. I would rate it’s coarseness on a scale of 7 which is very coarse. This experiment gave me chill-bumps and was also irritating. After a minute or two of resting my index fingers, then going back and rubbing the same fingers over the paper I found that it isn’t as coarse the second time as it was the first time. I would rate it’s coarseness at 4 which lead me to believe that my senses adapted to the coarseness.
    • Sensory Adaptation of both Sugar and Fresh water – After obtaining the Ingredients which consist of Sugar, two cups, and Fresh tap water, I took one cup and put Sugar in with Fresh Tap water and stirred it together. In the second cup I only put Fresh tap water. I proceeded to taste the cup with Sugar water, held it in my mouth and swished it around for several seconds without swallowing it. I noticed that my taste buds became over stimulated and less sensitive to the sweetness the longer it was in my mouth. But when I tasted the Fresh tap water and did the same thing, I noticed it tasted salty which surprised me because I didn’t add any salt so the fresh tap water had a more prominent affect or result.
    • Sensory Adaptation of Hot, Cold, and Lukewarm water – I placed three bowls in front of me on the counter. In one bowl I added very hot tap water. In another bowl I added very cold tap water, and in the third bowl I added lukewarm water. I placed the cold bowl of water in front of my right hand and the hot water in front of my left hand, and left the lukewarm water in the middle. Once I submersed my left hand in the hot water and my right hand in the cold water my reaction wasn’t what I thought it would be. I honestly thought I would end up needing to go to the restroom due to the hand that was submersed in hot water, but after holding my hands in the separate bowls of water for about a minute, then submersing them into the lukewarm water, what happened was that it appeared that the roles of the water switched somehow. It turns out that once my left hand was in hot water and my right one in cold that the minute they there submersed in the lukewarm water that their roles reversed. My left hand that was in the hot water actually felt cold in the lukewarm water where my right hand that was in the cold water felt hot in the lukewarm water. This explains something to me from my past that I’m sure everyone can relate to. When I was growing up and went swimming a lot when I’d get out of the cool water in the pool, stand in line for a few minutes then jump off the diving board only to find the pool was much warmer once I got back in.
    Adaptation<br />Adaptation can be best explained in the experiments I’m performing and presenting here in this article. A presentation such as this one of the same stimulus in a continued manner has caused receptors to become less sensitive to the stimulus, where in other areas of the presentation a much stronger stimulus will activate receptors. This process is known as Adaptation and can occur very quickly where odors and tastes are involved. (Prentice Hall, 2007). A good example to show what Adaptation is would be to take a simple Jalapeño and squeeze the juices from it over the top of your enchilada. The enchilada will be hot at first in the areas the juice Jalapeño juice was applied, which has caused the receptors to become less sensitive due to repeated tastings. However, problems can occur if you take the same Jalapeño and you cut it in slices and lay the slices on top of the enchilada which would be adding more fire to the taste and would activate your receptors, especially in people who have not adapted their taste buds to this particular way of eating and will find the enchilada very hot!<br />How Adaptation is Evident in each Experiment<br />
    • Sensory Adaptation is Evident using Sandpaper – Sensory Adaptation is Evident using Sandpaper because the coarseness was not as high the second time when rubbing the sandpaper. I believe what happened here is that the senses were over stimulated the first time the sandpaper was rubbed, and had adjusted in my brain to that sense, so when the sandpaper was rubbed the second time around it was less sensitive, less irritating and felt less coarse.
    • Sensory Adaptation is Evident using Sugar and Fresh water – Sensory Adaptation was Evident using Sugar and Fresh water as well because when the Sugar was placed in my mouth, and swished around and then spit out, it was the Salt water that over stimulated my senses and became more prominent.
    • Sensory Adaptation is Evident using Hot, Cold and lukewarm water – Adaptation is Evident in this Experiment because the results reversed roles and were shocking. This was Evident in the lukewarm water where both hands that were previously placed in cold and hot water, One in hot and the other in Cold, Once removed placed in lukewarm water this is where Sensory Adaptation is Evident because the hand that had previously been submersed in hot water now felt cold, yet the hand that was previously submersed in cold water, now felt hot in the lukewarm water.
    • Sensory Systems in each Experiment
    • Sensory Systems using Sandpaper – When explaining the Sensory System in this experiment from the receptors down into and including the brain the Tactile (touch) sense was used. A tactile sensory receptor is the peripheral ending of a sensory neuron along with its accessory structures which can be part of the nerve cell or epithelial or connective tissue. There is information that is carried from each skin receptor to several neuronal axons which is a strip on top of the brain surface called the somatosensory cortex which is basically the “rind” and is about sex millimeters or one-quarter inch, thick. The Somatosensory Cortex is packed with cell bodies of CNS neurons that receive “skin input” from all parts of the human body. Sensory input pours into the CNS neurons. Messages about Sensory input are sent to other brain areas from the somatosensory cortex. Tactile sensory maps in the cerebral cortex do not reflect correct proportions of skin areas. A person’s fingertips contain about 100 times more receptors per square centimeter rather than the skin on the back. More CNS neurons are devoted to receiving fingertip sensations which results in the cortical area receiving input which is huge in comparison to the human back that receives input. (Murray, M., Ph.D.; 2009)
    • Sensory Systems using Sugar and Fresh water – Taste cells are epithelial cells that function as sensory receptors. There are approximately 50-60 taste cells that are located in taste buds that are pear shaped. Taste cells are located through microvilli project into a taste pore. Non-Receptor basal cells do not project into the pore; these are located on the basement membrane and are different through various morphological steps into a mature taste cell. Taste cells are replaced every 10 days. When saliva is transporting the dissolved polar molecules that are sweet or bitter such as sugar or caffeine to the taste pore there is Transduction of chemical stimuli into nerve impulses. Polar molecules bind to receptors on the microvilli within the taste pore which are coupled to a G-protein called gustaducin which is followed by the activation of a second messenger. A receptor potential generates that allows a voltage dependent Ca++ channel to open and allow discharge of neurotransmitters into the synapse which results in an action potential to generate in the afferent nerve ending. Electrolytes interact with receptors on the taste membrane which open the ion-gated channel protein and increase the flux of Na+ and K+. Stimulation of hundreds of taste buds on the tongue will generate a neural code which can be detected by humans and identified because specific taste quality due to the neural code for each type of stimuli being decoded by the central nervous system. (Hutchins, M., Dr. 2009)
    • Sensory Systems using Hot, Cold and Lukewarm water – This would apply as a Temperature Receptor which lay directly under the skin. Temperature is stimulated by hot and cold receptors, although there are more cold receptors than there are heat receptors the degree of stimulation will always depend on the number of receptors that are stimulated. There are various receptors in the skin when using hot an cold substances that work together in combination as a complementary system that enables sensation of different temperatures such as lukewarm water in this experiment. In this particular experiment Paradoxical heat occurred because both hot and cold receptors were simultaneously stimulated. (Nicholas, L., 2009)
    Theories Surrounding one Sensory System<br />Some theories I will be describing in detail using the “taste” sensory system will explain just how exactly we taste. First of all we need to realize there are two different sorts of papillae on the tongue which are flat ones and slender ones. If you look at your tongue you will see there are round, bright red ones in color. You will also notice there are paler colored ones which are the slender type which would basically be the tip and sides of your tongue that are shiny. All humans have approximately 10,000 taste buds on our tongues that can detect five tastes although it had been thought that there were only four tastes for a very long time. Our tongues play an important role in every day life because without our tongues we would not be able to taste, talk, swallow, or chew. (EmbarrassingProblems.com, 2009) Taste or Tasting has two very important jobs: One is that it warns us about bad foods, and it also attracts us to good foods. (Moss, M., 2004) Most people do not realize there are actually 5 tastes. When we think of taste we think of salty, bitter, sweet, and sour, but thanks to Auguste Escoffier who actually invented veal stock. The fifth taste is called “umami” which also means “delicious” or “yummy” in Japanese but called L-glutamate in English. (Krulwich, R., 2007)<br />We also need to take a look at Olfaction which is where taste and trigeminal receptors both contribute to flavor together. What Olfaction does is amplify the sense of taste and can be proven by doing experiments such as taking Cantaloupe and Honey Dew Melon and slicing them up and placing them each in their own bowls. If you hold your nostrils completely closed while sampling one piece from one bowl, then the taste between the two are indistinguishable. Smell and Taste work together to form results. (NationMaster.com, 2003-2005) One more thing I’d like to include is that there are Scientists that have discovered taste receptors in the tongue that sense fat. (DietsInReview, 2009) According to Professor Nada Abumrad of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri, “There is evidence that obesity may be associated with an abnormal brain response to the sensory perception of a meal” (Abumrad, N., 2009)<br />Importance of Adaptation from an Evolutionary Perspective<br />Human Adaptations make up Human Nature in a systematic interaction between phenotypic output and environmental input. Adaptation is basically the ancestral environment from which it evolved and does not have to necessarily be connected to current conditions. Adaptations solve reproductive problems and have functions. Human Adaptation is beneficial in surviving and reproducing which can be passed on to our offspring. (Schaffner, S., 2008)<br />Conclusion<br />Intoxicated with Sensory Pleasures, we all are unguarded when it comes to Biological Influences such as our Sensory System, Neurotransmitters, Neurons, and Receptors. Using these experiments provided here in this Article you can see how different each experiment is by the different results each one produced and how Adaptation is Evident in each of these experiments. Our Sensory Systems play an important role in combination with one another in how we live our lives and the experiences we experience on a daily basis. As shocking as these experiments were that I did for this Article, I must say I now have a want to try even more experiments such as these at home. These experiences are etched in my own brain, never to be forgotten and It is my hope that every reader who reads this Article will invent and create new Experiments to try and share their stories about the process and results of their own experiments. (McCoy, C., 2009)<br />Citations<br />Psychology, Fifth Edition, by Stephen F. Davis and Joseph J. Paladino. Published by Prentice Hall, Copyright © 2007 by Pearson Education, Inc. <br />Health Press Ltd, Embarrassingproblems.com, (2009) Tongue problems at http://www.embarrassingproblems.co.uk/tongue.htm<br />Moss, M., (2004) how Do We Taste, CBS Interactive Inc. (2009) at http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa4128/is_200411/ai_n9464943<br />Krulwich., R., (2007) Sweet, Sour, Salty, Bitter … and Umami NPR, (2009) at http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=15819485<br />NationMaster.com, (2003-2005) Encyclopedia: Olfaction at http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/Olfaction<br />Wellsphere, (2009) Your ‘Mystery’ Taste Receptor at http://www.wellsphere.com/weight-loss-article/your-mystery-taste-receptor/422561<br />Abumrad., N., (2009) Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri<br />Murray, M., Ph.D.; (2009) Neuroscience for Kids Staff Writer Our Sense of Touch at http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/twopt.html<br />Hutchins, M., Dr.; Integrative Oral Sciences 1507 Chemical Sensory System Functions (continued) The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston<br />Nicholas., L., (2009) Introduction to Psychology, second edition p.91 at http://books.google.com/books?id=MP5X2SK2DCgC&pg=PA91&lpg=PA91&dq=Sensory+System+using+hot+and+cold&source=web&ots=WbnLg0SWJZ&sig=p42bVer8rERgh3jM5wPbZmYuo2Q&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=2&ct=result<br />Schaffner, S. & Sabeti, P. Evolutionary adaptation in the human lineage. Nature Education 1(1), (2008)<br />McCoy, C., (2009) American InterContinental University Individual Project. Biological Influences <br />References<br />Electronic Resource: https://mycampus.aiu-online.com<br />Electronic Resource: http://www.embarrassingproblems.co.uk/tongue.htm<br />Electronic Resource: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa4128/is_200411/ai_n9464943<br />Electronic Resource: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=15819485<br />Electronic Resource: http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/Olfaction<br />Electronic Resource: http://www.wellsphere.com/weight-loss-article/your-mystery-taste-receptor/422561<br />Electronic Resource: http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/twopt.html<br />Electronic Resource: http://www.uth.tmc.edu/courses/dental/smell-taste/taste.html<br />Electronic Resource: http://books.google.com/books?id=MP5X2SK2DCgC&pg=PA91&lpg=PA91&dq=Sensory+System+using+hot+and+cold&source=web&ots=WbnLg0SWJZ&sig=p42bVer8rERgh3jM5wPbZmYuo2Q&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=2&ct=result<br />Electronic Resource: http://www.nature.com/scitable/topicpage/Evolutionary-Adaptation-in-the-Human-Lineage-12397<br />