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Chapter 4.4

PSYA01H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 4.4: Synesthesia, Food Coloring, Retina

Course Code
Steve Joordens

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Touch and the Chemical Senses
Touch, taste and smell combine together to make your favourite foods, yet most of us can
still identify the separate components associated with what is felt, tasted and smelled
Synesthesia: experience blended perceptions, such that affected individuals might hear
colours or feel sounds
Can also involve blending taste and touch
Focus Questions
How are experiences of touch, taste and smell distinct?
What are the different types of sensations that are detected by our sense of touch?
The Sense of Touch
Sense of touch allows us to actively investigate our environment and the objects that are
in it
Using touch, we can get information about texture, temperature, and pressure upon the
These different forms of stimulation are combined to give us a vivid physical sense
of every movement
Sensual experiences are dependent on the actions of several types of receptors located
just beneath the surface of the skin, and also in muscles, joints and tendons
These receptors send information to the somatosensory cortex in the parietal lobes
of the brain
Sensitivity to touch varies across different regions of the body
Regions with high acuity, such as the fingertips, can detect the two separate, but
closely spaced, pressure points of the device, whereas less sensitive regions such as
the lower back will perceive the same stimuli as only one pressure point
The sensitivity of different parts of the body also influences how much space in the
somatosensory cortex is dedicated to analyzing each body part's sensations
Eg. Lips have taken over large potions of the somatosensory cortex while less
sensitive regions like the thigh use much less neural space
Chapter 4.4
Wednesday, October 2, 2019

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Haptics: the active, exploratory aspect of touch sensation and perception
Active touch involves feedback
Eg. Fingertips can help you determine whether the object is the appropriate
shape and can detect bruising or abnormalities that may make it unsuitable to
Allows us to identify objects and avoid damaging or dropping them
Fingers and hands coordinate their movements using kinesthesis
Kinesthesis: the sense of bodily motion and position
Receptors for kinesthesis reside in the muscles, joints, and tendons which transmit
information about movement and the position of your muscles, limbs and joints to
the brain
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