Submitted by Maci Rutledge

Anatomy and Physiology

1 March, 2023

Testing Sensory Organs

My anatomy and physiology class participated in a sensory lab in order to have a better understanding of our sensory organs. We formed groups of three and used the “Ward’s testing your sensory organs” packet to complete each test. Throughout the lab, we tested out our vision, chemoreceptors, and thermoreceptors in many different tests.

The first groups of testing fit in the category of vision. Test A was after-images. By testing out our after-images, we chose three colored stickers and placed them on a piece of plain white paper. After staring at the colored dot for 30 seconds, we looked over at the other side of the paper with nothing on it. A different colored dot then showed up. That is what is known as an after-image. In test B, we found our blind spots. By doing this, we used a piece of paper with a plus sign and a black circle on opposite sides. Covering one eye, we used this paper to track down where our blind spot was. Then we used that same sheet of paper and a bead connected to a pipe cleaner to map out where our blind spot starts and ends.

Next, we completed a group of tests to learn more about our chemoreceptors. Test A was known as flavor discrimination. For this test, we used sliced apples and potatoes to see if we could identify which one was which. It consisted of three different trails in which we had different rules for chewing, or breathing. We then recorded our data on the data table. On test B, we mapped out our taste receptors. Using four different solutions, we touched each one on all seven areas of the tongue. While doing so, we kept track of how sensitive we were to each taste, and then at the end, what sensation it gave us between sweet, salty, sour, or bitter. We recorded each response in a data table.

The last group of testing was for our thermoreceptors. Test A of this group was sensory adaptation. In order to understand sensory adaptation, each person placed their right and left index finger into cups of cold and hot water at the same time, without knowing which one was hot and which was cold. We then recorded their results, and left each finger in the beaker for 60 seconds. After the time was up, we put both fingers in the same cup of room temperature water and kept track of how each index finger felt in temperature. In test B we mapped out our thermoreceptors. We did this by stamping a grid on our arms and randomly placing cold and hot water in each little square. While doing so, we did our best to identify if the water was hot or cold, and then wrote down whether we were right or wrong.

We also did a further investigation, and tested our reaction time. We ran two tests in this group. Our partner held a ruler stick above our index finger and thumb. They then dropped it three times with a warning, and three times without one. We also kept track of how fast each reaction time was. 

In conclusion, we learned many new, and interesting things about our sensory organs. Now, we have a far better understanding of how our bodies function when it comes to reaction time, vision, and our senses. The lab was a great, hands-on learning experience.

Mr. Mack