Neurotransmitters And Sensory Adaptation

Neurotransmitters And Sensory Adaptation

Neurotransmitters And Sensory Adaptation

Part 1

Located in the brain, neurotransmitters are a vital feature in the regulation and control of the functions of the central nervous system. One of the qualities of neurotransmitters is that they are stored in chemical form giving them the name chemical transmitters. Neurotransmitters have different roles that they perform depending on the category they belong. There are a variety of neurotransmitters which perform different duties in relation to the communication of the body organs. The most common neurotransmitters are the Biogenetic neurotransmitters which are responsible for the regulation of anxiety, appetite sleep, mood thoughts stress and motivation. Lack of proper transportation of these neurotransmitters causes several issues such as brain damage, Alzheimer’s and schizophrenia. Such conditions impact on the behavior of an individual’s communication with the outside environment, reasoning memory and mental development (Coon, Mitterer, Talbot, & Vanchella, 2010).

Another category of neurotransmitters are the Peptide neurotransmitters which contribute significantly in the regulation of appetite and nutrition of the body in relation to the brain. The inability of the peptide neurotransmitters to perform their work can lead to various illnesses such as bipolar disorder, eating disorders Huntington’s disease. The third category of neurotransmitters is the amino acid transmitters which control the anxiety and memory of the brain. Improper function of amino acid transmitters leads to the degeneration of the cells. This in turn, leads to the acquisition of Alzheimer’s disease which involves the loss of a substantial percentage of memory (Comer & Gould, 2013).

Neurotransmitters cannot function without the activity of the neurons which are responsible for the transfer of chemical messages from the body to the brain and back. The neurons are part of the central nervous system. They receive messages from different parts of the body to the brain. The messages are converted by the brain and later redirected to the body through the same neurons. The messages in this case are the neurotransmitters that which have the chemical element suitable for identifying an issue in the body (Berger, 2001).

Part 2


Sensory adaptation is the reaction to the change of a different environment when a sensory organ is introduced. There are five different sensory organs responsible for feeling the change in temperature. The introduction to an environment leads to a response in stimulus that affects the comfortable environment. Repeat of a certain activity can cause the organ to adapt to the new environment. The following experiments are intended to display the process of sensory adaptation when sensory organs are exposed to a different environment (Domjan, Grau & Krause, 2010).

Experiment 1

The first experiment involves rubbing of the index fingers on a course surface. This then repeated on the same surface so as to determine the different reaction from the initial stage. On the first attempt, the feeling of rubbing the hands is uncomfortable due to the course surface that rubs against the fingers. The coarseness is rates 6 on the scale of 1-7 making it considerably high. The second time, the feeling is relatively different in that the fingers still register a course feeling. It is however different from the first time seeing as it is not as uncomfortable making the rating of the coarseness at 3. The fingers adapt to the new surface making the activity less strenuous than before. Adaptation is evident in the fingers are more receptive to the course texture of the first surface as opposed to the first. The friction between the fingers and the coarse surface is transferred to the brain through the skin which is one of the sensory organs. The brain receives the messages from the neurons through the neurotransmitters. This information is then transmitted back to the body through the same avenues. The second reaction is different because the first reaction interferes with some of the sensory organs affected by the course surface. This makes the receptors have a weaker response compared to that of the first experiment (Domjan, Grau, & Krause, 2010).

Experiment 2

The second experiment involves drinking a cup of sweet water and swishing it around the whole mouth until the sweet taste disappears gradually. The next step involves tasting fresh water immediately after tasting the sweet water. The experiment is mainly to prove whether the taste of the fresh water changes after. On completion of the task, the water of the fresh water is different in that it acquires a slightly sour taste. The sensory organ in this case is the tongue which is responsible for the sense of taste. The sensory nerves transmit the messages received from the first experiment to the brain. The brain receives the message and registers the information transmitted. The information is then returned back to the tongue which records the sweetness that deteriorates with time. The same process occurs during the second step but using different circumstances. The nerve transmitters dictate the interference of the sensory nerves in the tongue delivering a different message to the brain. The information is then returned back to the body registering a slightly sour taste (Lawless & Heymann, 2010).

Experiment 4

The fourth experiment involves the assembling of three bawls with three different temperatures of water. The first bawl has hot water the second bawl has lukewarm water and the third bawl has cold tap water. The next step involves submerging of the left hand into the cold water and the left hand into the hot water. Both hands are then dipped into the lukewarm water at the same time. The initial dip gives two reactions due to using two different temperatures. The left hand becomes cold and the rights hand becomes hot. When both hands are dipped into the lukewarm water, the left hand becomes warm and the right hands delays to adapt to the warm water. The feeling in the right hand is numb due to the heat of the water that it has been submerged. The sensory organ that is affected in this case is the skin which is the largest organ in the body. One the submerging of both hands into the two bawls of water, the two adapt to the temperatures in the bawls. When both hands are dipped into the lukewarm water, the sensory organs in the skin transfer the massage to the brain. The brain responds by interpreting the information from both temperatures. The messages are returned back to the body which causes the skin to react to the new environment. The numb skin is a result of the heat in the second bawl that affects the sensory organs of the skin causing it to detect a feeling of numbness (Coon & Mitterer, 2011).


Berger, D. S. (2001). Music therapy, sensory integration and the autistic child. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Comer, R. J., & Gould, E. (2013). Psychology around us. Hoboken, N.J: Wiley.

Coon, D., Mitterer, J. O., Talbot, S., & Vanchella, C. M. (2010). Introduction to psychology: Gateways to mind and behavior. Belmont, Calif: Wadsworth Cengage Learning



Coon, D., & Mitterer, J. O. (2011). Psychology: A journey. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Cengage Learning.

Domjan, M., Grau, J. W., & Krause, M. A. (2010). The principles of learning and behavior. Australia: Wadsworth CenageLawless, H. T., & Heymann, H. (2010). Sensory evaluation of food: Principles and practices. New York: Springer.

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