Adaptation and Sensory Perception

Essay by Anonymous UserCollege, UndergraduateA, September 2007

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Abstract In this paper, I will explain how adaptation and sensory perception played a role in three sensory experiments I conducted. I will also explain how the sensory system was involved in my experiment. This will begin with the receptors and continue through to the brain.

The sensory system brings information regarding our environment to our brains. They help us to interact with our environment. The sensory system is made up of five senses, which correspond to five sense organs. The five senses are vision, hearing, taste, touch, and smell. These correspond with the eyes, ears, tongue, skin, and nose. Each of these contains sensory neurons, which transmit impulses to the central nervous system. The information is processed and from that we receive a perception which we interpret and which may change our behavior accordingly. This is called Transduction which is the process of the receptors changed the information they receive into a form which the nervous system can utilize.

Sensory adaptation occurs when the stimulation we are receiving is constant and unchanging (Wade & Tavris, 2006, p 219). Your sensitivity to the stimuli lessens when you are subjected to it continuously. A good example of this would be if you moved to a high traffic area. When you first moved there, you would hear the noise of the cars driving by all the time. After an undetermined amount of time living there, you would eventually not hear the sounds. It would become a background noise. This can also have an adverse reaction. You could become adapted to the smell of natural gas. In the event of a gas leak you may not smell the danger until it was too late especially if the leak occurred while you were sleeping and not conscious to interpret the smell as a...