Senses and Stimuli

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Sensory Adaptation
Florence Bresnahan
Week Two
American Intercontinental University

Sensation is described as the stimulus of the reactors that our brain receives whenever we utilize any of our five senses such as hearing, seeing, smelling, tasting, or touching. Sensory adaptation occurs when the "continued presence of that same stimulus results in a loss of sensitivity" (ref). In order for the brain to continue to experience the stimulus, "a stronger stimulus is needed in order to activate the reactors" (ref). To test the experience of sensory adaption, three experiments were conducted, involving touch and taste. Experiment 1

In the first experiment, I take a piece of sandpaper and rub my index finger over it and rate it on a scale on one to seven, soft to coarse. The first time, the sandpaper felt very coarse, so I would rate it at a seven. Upon waiting a minute, I rubbed my finger over it again. The sandpaper did not feel as coarse the second time, so I would rate it about a four. I waited another minute, and rubbed it again, the sandpaper felt less coarse, I would rate it at about a three. It seemed that over time, my receptors became accustomed to the feeling and therefore, I started to adapt to the coarseness. Experiment 2

For the second experiment, I filled three bowls with water of varying temperatures. The first bowl was hot water, the second bowl, lukewarm water, and the third bowl was cold water. I then placed one hand in the hot water and one hand in the cold water and left them there for three minutes. Afterwards, I placed both hands in the bowl filled with both hot and cold. Upon doing this, the hand that was in the hot water felt cooler while the hand that was in the cold water felt warmer. It seems that the receptors were still feeling the original temperature of the hot and cold water that my hands had been in previously and had not yet adjusted to the new temperature of the lukewarm...
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