Adaptation Experiments

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Adaptation is the process of the receptors becoming less sensitive as a result of continued presentation of the same stimulus (Davis, & Palladino 2007). In other words the receptors "get use" or adjust to the brightness of a light or the darkness of a room, depending on the surrounding we are in. For instance, if you are in a suddenly darkened room your eyes will adjust to the darkness and be able to see around the room after you stand in it a few minutes. This works with all of the five sensory receptors found in the eyes, ears, mouth, nose, and skin. Below, I have conducted three different experiments in which adaptation occurs, and I will explain how each was done and how adaptation is evident in each one. The first experiment I chose to undertake was the sandpaper test. The experiment instructs me to rub my finger across a rough piece of sandpaper, and rate its coarseness on a numbered scale. Next, I am to wait a minute or two, and then rub the same finger across the same sandpaper and rate its coarseness again a second time. On a scale from 1 to 7 (1 being soft and 7 being rough), the sandpaper was rated at a 7 when I first rubbed it. The second time I rubbed the same sandpaper I rated the roughness at a 5. So the feel of the sandpaper felt smoother on the second rub. I found that my perception of the sandpaper's coarseness changed after the repeated action of rubbing the same finger for the second time. The conclusion; the skin on my finger adapted to the coarseness of the sandpaper because of the repeated exposure to the same stimulus. In order for my finger to send the signal of the feel of the sandpaper to my brain for processing, my skin must be filled with cutaneous receptors that pick up on sensations such as touch, temperature, pain, and pressure on the skin. Once the cutaneous information has been sensed by the machorecptors by either fine hair movement on the skin, or by dents in the skin being stimulated, the information travels...
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