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Senses and Stimuli
Topics: Sense, Taste, Sensory system, Perception, Water / Pages: 3 (659 words) / Published: Mar 4th, 2013

Sensory Adaptation
SSCI206-1103A-17
Florence Bresnahan
Week Two
American Intercontinental University

Introduction 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 water.
Experiment 3 For this experiment I two cups and filled one with fresh water and one with sugar water. I took a sip of the sugar water, held it in mouth, and swooshed it around. As I continued to hold it, the sugar water did not taste as sweet. I then took a sip of the fresh water. The fresh water tasted salty. The receptors in my taste buds became accustomed to the sugar water but made the fresh water taste like there was salt in it. In each of these experiments, sensory adaptation was apparent by the way that each of the senses became less sensitive to the various stimuli they were exposed to. The receptors became accustomed to the tastes and touch so that I no longer felt them as strongly as I did when I first encountered them and that over time, the five senses will cease to respond to the stimuli.
Evolution
Over time, humans had to learn to adapt to different stimuli within their environment and lifestyles.

References

Cherry, K (n.d.). Humanistic Psychology - What Is Humanistic Psychology. Psychology - Complete Guide to Psychology for Students, Educators & Enthusiasts. Retrieved from http://psychology.about.com/od/historyofpsychology/a/hist_humanistic.htm.
Humanistic Psychology. (n.d.). » Abraham Maslow - Father of Modern Management Psychology. Retrieved from http://www.abraham-maslow.com/m_motivation/Humanistic-Psychology.asp.
Cherry, K (n.d.). What Is Behaviorism - An Introduction to Behaviorism. Psychology - Complete Guide to Psychology for Students, Educators & Enthusiasts. Retrieved from http://psychology.about.com/od/behavioralpsychology/f/behaviorism.htm.
Standridge, M. (2003). Behaviorism - Emerging Perspectives on Learning, Teaching and Technology. Projects Server Introduction. Retrieved from http://projects.coe.uga.edu/epltt/index.php?title=Behaviorism.
Physiological Psychology. (n.d.). Changing minds and persuasion -- How we change what others think, believe, feel and do. Retrieved from http://changingminds.org/explanations/brain/articles/physiological_psychology.htm.

References: Cherry, K (n.d.). Humanistic Psychology - What Is Humanistic Psychology. Psychology - Complete Guide to Psychology for Students, Educators & Enthusiasts. Retrieved from http://psychology.about.com/od/historyofpsychology/a/hist_humanistic.htm. Humanistic Psychology. (n.d.). » Abraham Maslow - Father of Modern Management Psychology. Retrieved from http://www.abraham-maslow.com/m_motivation/Humanistic-Psychology.asp. Cherry, K (n.d.). What Is Behaviorism - An Introduction to Behaviorism. Psychology - Complete Guide to Psychology for Students, Educators & Enthusiasts. Retrieved from http://psychology.about.com/od/behavioralpsychology/f/behaviorism.htm. Standridge, M. (2003). Behaviorism - Emerging Perspectives on Learning, Teaching and Technology. Projects Server Introduction. Retrieved from http://projects.coe.uga.edu/epltt/index.php?title=Behaviorism. Physiological Psychology. (n.d.). Changing minds and persuasion -- How we change what others think, believe, feel and do. Retrieved from http://changingminds.org/explanations/brain/articles/physiological_psychology.htm.

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