WAYS OF KNOWING: SENSE PERCEPTION

Computer reconstruction of the three semicircular canals and cochlea from the inner ear of an adult baboon from high-resolution x-ray computed tomography. Alan Walker Lab, Penn State. 

Computer reconstruction of the three semicircular canals and cochlea from the inner ear of an adult baboon from high-resolution x-ray computed tomography. Alan Walker Lab, Penn State. 

CLASS ACTIVITY I: HOT AND COLD

Use a kettle and ice to maintain three bowls of water as “very cold,” “warm” and “hot.” The fact that you do this preparation yourself only increases the strangeness of what you will experience next… Simultaneously, place your left hand in the iced water and your right hand in the heated water for a full 45 seconds. Immediately plunge both hands into the bowl of uniformly warm water. What do you notice? Repeat the experiment this time using all your conscious will power to deny and not feel the effect. What is going on here?


CLASS ACTIVITY II: SEVEN SENSES REVIEW

Students work solo in this old fashioned review task that sneaks in two extra senses beyond the Aristotelian five and some sense perception vocabulary and facts not usually covered in IB biology classes.

The data necessary needed to complete the review table has been arranged below alphabetically and designated letters A to P. Students must place the appropriate letters in the empty cells.

Later students can be provided with a clean copy of the solution with the complete data entered correctly. Students can then check their work and keep the table for future use in TOK presentations or essays.

A. Auditory
B. Electromagnetic radiation of wavelengths between 380 and 750 nm. (visible color spectrum) 
C. Equilibrium
D. Gustatory
E. Inertia forces caused by acceleration of viscous fluids moving in the three canals
F. Muscle fibre nerves
G. Olfactory
H. Physical pressures exerted
I. Proprioreception
J. Puffs of air, vibrating between 12 and 20,000 Hz
K. Rod and cone retinal cells of the eyes
L. Sensory cells in nasal lining
M. Semi-circular canals
N. Skin receptors
O. Taste buds on tongue
P. Tensions (tone) across muscle fibres
Q. Visual
R. Wide range of volatile chemicals in the air

Pdf of alphabetical list and empty table
Pdf of solution and short written assignment


CLASSS ACTIVITY III: SHORT WRITTEN ASSIGNMENT

Astronomer Arthur Eddington* noted that an ordinary view of the world, one “which spontaneously appears around me when I open my eyes” is “a strange compound of external nature, mental imagery and inherited prejudice.”  How accurate a description is this of everyday experience? Provide an example for each category? 

*Eddington(1928) The Nature of the Physical World. MacMillan, London.

Baboon Eyes. Photo: Tambako the Jaguar 

Baboon Eyes. Photo: Tambako the Jaguar