Assignment 5: Sensation
Sensation is initiated by the physical stimuli that surround and inhabit the body. As stimuli impinge on receptors, neural impulses are initiated and speed along specific pathways toward destinations in the brain. During sensation assorted influences come into play; the intensity of stimulation, repetition, and the range and mixture of stimuli. Stimulation may be subliminal, may produce sensory adaptation, or may be less than optimal.
Below, explain the phenomenon being described in terms of the concept listed with it. Answer all of the questions below, and provide enough detail to explain your answers throroughly. Your written work should 1.5 – 2 pages of text (double-spaced). Submit your work as a Word document or PDF.
1. Distribution of receptors – Different portions of the body vary in their sensitivity to touch. The fingertips and lips are especially sensitive and the lower back is relatively insensitive. The brain itself is completely indifferent to touch.
2. Difference Threshold – Gina has prepared three cups of coffee but can’t recall how much sugar is in each. The cup with the smallest amount of sugar is easy to identify, but Gina can’t taste any difference between the other two cups even though she knows one has more sugar.
3. Signal Detection Theory – A nurse notices that patients perform more poorly on auditory tests—tests involving the threshold of hearing—when they are tired as a result of loss of sleep.
4. Sensory Adaptation – John is looking all over for his glasses when his wife points them out at the top of his head.