Thursday, July 14, 2011

Final Project Post

Overall, I thought this course, Perception, was very interesting. It was fascinating to learn about the things we do in our everyday lives and have them explained. Learning about the entire process of how we see things, perceive sound, feel pain, smell, taste etc was really interesting because all of these are just so automatic; you rarely sit and think about HOW they are happening. You take for granted your ability to see color, smell food, or move your body and this course highlighted this greatly for me. Although some parts of the course were very scientific and technical, it was overall very easy for a non-science type of person to understand the material.

My favorite part of the course was the chapter on the chemical senses. I really enjoyed learning about how we taste things. You don’t realize just how much goes into you simply eating a sandwich or drinking a cup of coffee. The entire olfactory system is so complex; it is mind blowing. The part more specifically that I focused my project on was how taste and smell work together for us to fully taste food. I have included a short video on a demonstration discussed in the textbook. In the demonstration, I show how taste is affected when you cannot smell the stimulus. Through my demonstration, I realized how boring food and drinks would be without the sense of smell. I could still taste the food/drink in regards to knowing if they were bitter, sour etc. but I could not distinguish what the drink or food actually was. I could recognize how frustrating and bland is must be for someone whole lacked their sense of smell.

Lastly, the concepts discussed in the course can definitely relate to real-world problems. All of the topics discussed are part of our everyday lives without even thinking about it. While reading many of the topics, I noticed myself going “Oh yeah, I’ve noticed when that happened in situation X” or “Oh yeah, I know someone that is colorblind and they have stated Y.” All of the topics covered in the course are so fascinating because they are a part of our everyday lives. I thought about this course last week when I took my mother to the doctor. She was diagnosed with Bell’s Palsey and has temporarily lost the ability to move the right side of her face. The neurologist was explaining my mother’s situation and how the infection attacks the part of her brain that then disrupted her ability to move her face. I thought about this course because the topics of how the brain controls movement were discussed. The course made me more familiar with such topics that helped me understand the neurologist more than I would have previously.

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