Task 1: Conduct three of the following experiments. Record your reactions, and be specific for each experiment.
Rub your index fingers gently over a piece of very coarse sandpaper a few times and rate its coarseness on a scale from 1 (very soft) to 7 (very coarse).
After a minute or two, rub the same finger over the paper and again rate its coarseness. Did your perception of the coarseness change? How? Record your reaction.
Prepare one cup with sugar water and one with fresh water.
Take a sip of the sugar water and swish it around in your mouth for several seconds without swallowing it. Gradually, it should taste less sweet. (Dispose of the sugar water)
Taste from the cup containing fresh water. Did the taste of the fresh water surprise you? How? Record your reaction.
Take about 15 index cards and a flashlight that is opaque on all sides (so that light shines only through the front) into a very dark room.
Place all 15 cards over the beam of light.
Slowly remove the cards one at a time until you can barely detect the light, and then count the number of cards that remain over the light.
After a few minutes, the light should begin to look brighter. When this is the case, add cards and see if you can still see the light.
Repeat this process of gradually adding cards over a 15-minute period. Were you able to detect an increasingly dim light the longer you spent in the dark? Record your reaction.
How many cards did it take to not see the light after time?
Fill 3 medium-sized bowls as follows:
Bowl 1 – with very hot (but not painfully hot) tap water
Bowl 2 – with very cold tap water
Bowl 3 – with a mixture of the very hot and very cold water
Arrange them, so your right hand is in front of the cold water, your left hand is in front of the hot water, and the lukewarm water is in the middle.
Submerse your hands into the water (right into cold, left into hot) for about 3 minutes
After 3 minutes, quickly transfer both hands to the lukewarm (middle) bowl. What did you sense? Record your reaction.
In all four experiments, you will experience adaption.
Task 2: Write a paper that describes adaption and how you experienced it in your experiments. The paper should cover the following.
Fully describe the process and results of the experiments that you chose.
What is sensory adaptation? Explain the concept of sensory adaptation. Refer to your text for the definition of sensory adaptation (this is not the general dictionary definition)
Explain how adaptation is evident in each of your experimental results.
Provide a comprehensive description of the sensory systems that are involved in the experiments that you performed. This description should include what happens from the receptors to the brain. Your discussion should illustrate what was experienced in each experiment.
Discuss how adaptation is important from an evolutionary perspective.
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