Sensation,Sensory thresholds


Sensation is the process that allows our brains to take in information via our five senses, which can then be experienced and interpreted by the brain.Sensation involves the relay of information from sensory receptors to the brain and enables a person to experience the world around them.Sensation is input about the physical world registered by our sensory receptors, such as our eyes, ears, mouth, nose, and skin.

Sensation is the process by which our senses gather information and send it to the brain.  A large amount of information is being sensed at any one time such as room temperature, brightness of the lights, someone talking, a distant train, or the smell of perfume.  With all this information coming into our senses, the majority of our world never gets recognized.  We don’t notice radio waves, x-rays, or the microscopic parasites crawling on our skin.  We don’t sense all the odors around us or taste every individual spice in our gourmet dinner.  We only sense those things we are able too since we don’t have the sense of smell like a bloodhound or the sense of sight like a hawk; our thresholds are different from these animals and often even from each other.

Sensory Threshold:

A sensory threshold is the level of strength a stimulus must reach to be detected. Psychologists study sensory thresholds to learn how humans and animals process sensory information

Types of sensory threshold

a.Absolute Threshold:

The absolute threshold is the point where something becomes noticeable to our senses.  It is the softest sound we can hear or the slightest touch we can feel.  Anything less than this goes unnoticed.  The absolute threshold is therefore the point at which a stimuli goes from undetectable to detectable to our senses.

b.Difference Threshold:

Once a stimulus becomes detectable to us, how do we recognize if this stimulus changes.  When we notice the sound of the radio in the other room, how do we notice when it becomes louder.  It’s conceivable that someone could be turning it up so slightly that the difference is undetectable.  The difference threshold is the amount of change needed for us to recognize that a change has occurred.  This change is referred to as the Just Noticeable Difference.

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