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Analysis Of Cutaneous Sensation And Reflexes By Examining Receptive Responses

3163 words - 13 pages

IntroductionThe senses of sight, smell, taste, touch, and sound are present in almost every situation collectively, and help humans function in the constant changing settings. However, these senses are specific enough to distinguish between multiple situations to relay different information that is relative to specific environments. These different inputs help adjust the body to maintain a state of homeostasis, which is an equilibrium point in the body.When the body enters a new environment, it must alter its initial state to incorporate the new senses that the old environment may not have contained. This occurs daily from walking from a cold room to a warm room, waking up to bright ...view middle of the document...

The body completes a reflux to an effector, which is the final step in the general reflex arc that occurs for most reflexes. This arc is similar to the cycle of impulses the brain gets and sends with the sensation receptors. The patellar tendon reflex is a well-known reflex administered by most physicians, and the choice for the reflex experiment.The experiment will compare reflexes in normal, relaxed conditions to those while applying the Jendrassik maneuver. This maneuver, done by clasping one's hands together and trying to pull their arms apart without undoing the clasp, has been grouped in past research with the patellar tendon reflex (Burke et al. 1996).The localization and relative size of receptive fields and adaptation of sensations are also explored in this experiment. Concerning temperature adaptation, the effects of both warm and cold thermoreceptors are the points of study. Together, these receptors help to keep the body in a state of equilibrium (Egan et al. 2005). The experiment is designed in a way to introduce this idea by isolating both warm and cold thermoreceptors in the hand by testing temperature adaptation. The localization of receptive fields is observed by conducting a two-point discrimination test. This includes finding the location where two different stimuli are processed by the brain as a single stimulus in different areas of the body. These experiments help further the understanding how the body compensates for changes in the environment to maintain equilibrium.Materials and MethodsThe sensation portion of the experiment was divided into an adaptation and localization section. For temperature adaptation, three water baths were used. The first bath contained ice water, the second held water at room temperature, and the third was a warm bath at 40ºC. For the first test, the male subject placed his left hand into the 40ºC bath for one minute and added his right hand to the same bath at the end of the minute. After taking both hands out of the water, a second test was done by the same subject after five minutes. For the second test, the same male subject placed his right hand in a hot water bath at 40ºC and his left in an ice bath. In between both hands was another bath at room temperature. The subject held each hand in the water for one minute, and then placed both hands in the room temperature bath. One minute later the subject took his hands out of the bath and the touch adaptation section began after a ten-minute break for the subject.For the touch adaptation, localization, and reflex sections the experiment was conducted by the outline in the physiology lab manual (Meyer et al. 2001).ResultsFor the temperature adaptation experiments the subject first placed his left hand in the 40ºC bath for one minute before placing the right hand in as well. For the second the subject placed his right hand in the 40ºC and his left hand in the ice bath for one minute before placing them both in the room...

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