Sensory Things!

Our new unit brings up a storm of new vocabulary & concepts. Many of them are difficult to understand. I want us to concentrate on the basics for now & in the spring we’ll get deeper into things. My previous post addressed some of the confusion that exists in the transduction-sensation-perception process. Now, let’s turn our attention to what happens when sensation reaches the brain.

I give you these possible blog post prompts:

  1. After reading through the material on sensory adaptation, I found myself wondering if it were the product of the receptor cells located in the sensory organs or a product of a certain part of the brain. Perhaps you could answer that question in your blog: what brain structure is responsible for sensory adaptation? There is only one right answer. You must use your knowledge of brain layers & structures to answer it though.
  2. As the textbook contains this question (p. 114), “Do you see why it’s not a good idea to listen to interesting music while you are studying?”  I like this question. Most of us have tried to study while listening to favorite music, but have been distracted. I find it easier to study in a slightly noisier & chaotic environment like a coffee shop or my study hall, but more difficult to study in silence, at home, or if it gets too  loud. My blog prompt for you: (a) what is the answer to the author’s question, (b) where is it easier for you to study? & (c) what is happening when environment mental noise becomes distracting? All three questions are essentially the same.
  3. We’ve looked at two aspects of thresholds so far, absolute threshold & difference threshold. Those are relatively straightforward in their meaning. However, when we get to signal detection theory, the author notes that “the classic theory of thresholds ignores the (perceiver)”. In a blog post, you could explore the relationship between perceiver & sensory thresholds. What aspects of your physical or mental condition or the environment have you noticed in your experience as a perceiver make a difference in your personal sensory thresholds?
  4. Lastly, the textbook covers subliminal persuasion on pages 116 – 117. What do you make of subliminal persuasion? Why is it included in a chapter on sensation & perception? What was convincing to you in the section?

I look forward to reading your thoughts on these issues or ones that I haven’t thought of yet! Surprise me with your insights & reactions this week.