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Gizmo - Senses-1.docx - Name: Date: Student Exploration:...

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Name:Date:Student Exploration: SensesLearning Objectives:Students will …Learn how stimuli from the environment are converted into signals that are sent to the brain forprocessing.Compare how five sense organs – the eye, ear, nose, tongue, and skin – detect stimuli fromthe environment and convert them into nerve impulses.Understand that different stimuli are processed by distinct regions of the brain.Compare signals that terminate in the brain and those that produce involuntary reflexes.Vocabulary:auditory cortex, auditory nerve, cerebrum, cone, gustatory cortex, hair cells,hypothalamus, involuntary, nerve impulse, neural pathway, neuron, olfactory cortex, olfactorybulb, optic nerve, rod, sensory neuron, somatosensory cortex, somatosensory nerves, spinal cord,stimulus, thalamus, visual cortexLesson Overview:Humans are able tocollect information from the outside world andprocessthat information in the brain to form perceptions. In the Senses Gizmo, students will explore howwe collect stimuli using our senses and convert stimuli into signals that are sent to the brain. TheStudent Exploration sheet contains three activities:Activity A – Students observe and compare theneural pathways from different senseorgans to the brain.Activity B – Students explore how stimuli received by theeye and ear are converted tosignals that are sent to the brain for processing.Activity C – Students explore how stimuli received by thenose, tongue, and skin areconverted to signals that are sent to the brain for processing.Scientific Background:Organisms use their senses tocollect many different types of information, or stimuli, fromthe environment. The most commonly recognized senses aresight, hearing, smell, taste,and touch.Each stimulus is recognized by a different sensory receptor:Light waves entering theeye excite the photoreceptor cells of the retina.Sound waves are transmitted to thecochlea, where vibrations activate hair cells.Scent particles activate sensory neurons in theolfactory bulb at the top of the nose.Taste particles activate sensory receptors in thetaste buds of the tongue.Touch stimuli activate a variety of sensory neurons inside theskin. These neuronsReproduction for educational use only. Public sharing or posting prohibited. © 2020 ExploreLearning™ All rights reserved
arespecialized to react to pressure, pain, heat and cold.Thereceptor cells send signals through neurons to the brain. Signals from the eye, ear, skinand tongue are first sent to thethalamus before being routed to specific parts of the brain.Sight signals are processed by thevisual cortex, sound signals by theauditory cortex, touchsignals by thesomatosensory cortex, and taste signals by thegustatory cortex. Smellsignalsbypass the thalamus and are sent directly to theolfactory cortex.

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