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Sensation

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Sensation

Have you noticed how those delicious cookies baking in your mother's kitchen evoke a flow of warm and comforting feeling? Have you ever observed how a pat on the back or a caress on the arm gives you a sense of assurance?

Sensation, the smell of cookies depicting sensation, StudySmarterThe smell of cookies depicting sensation, pexels.com

These are just some experiences that show how human sensation is linked to emotions and behavior. From childhood, we are educated about our five senses: sight, smell, taste, touch, and hearing. We discover how sensation contributes to our emotional processing, learning, and perception as we get older.

  • What is sensation?
  • What is sensationalism?
  • What are different types of sensation?
  • How do sensation and perception differ?
  • What is sensation numbness?

Sensation Meaning: Process of Sensation

Sensation is a conscious or mental process generated by stimulating a sense organ, sensory nerve, or sensory region in the brain. It is the physical process by which our sense organs, namely the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and skin, react to external stimuli.

There are fundamental concepts that govern the process of sensation, regardless of whether we're talking about sight, taste, or any of the other senses.

Our sensations follow a three-step process: they absorb sensory stimuli, convert them into neural impulses, and then transport the neural information to our brain. Transferring one type of energy into another that our brain can use is known as transduction.

Electrical stimulation converts physical energy such as light or sound waves into a type of energy that the brain can interpret. We make sense of all this stimulus and begin to grasp the complicated world around us when our brain gets the electrical impulses. Perception is the psychological process of making meaning of the inputs.

Sensationalism

The study of sensation and perception is significant in our daily lives since the knowledge provided by psychologists is utilized to aid so many individuals in many ways. The doctrine of sensationalism is a sensation psychology concept derived from empiricism, the belief that all thoughts are born out of personal experience (Agassi, 1966).

Sensationalism is a kind of empiricism in which sensation or sense perceptions are the only sources of knowledge. Sensation and recalled images characterize all experiences and mental activities.

Sensation, a blank speech bubble, depicting tabula rasa (clean slate), StudySmarterA blank speech bubble, depicting tabula rasa (clean slate), pexels.com

Sensationalism arises from the idea of the mind as a tabula rasa, or clean slate, that every human being is born blank with no pre-programmed mental content and that events determine their identity after birth.

Types of Sensation

There are several types of sensation, and the following text describes organic, special, and motor sensation.

Organic Sensation

Organic sensation is triggered by the activity of the body's interior organs. The sensations are caused by physiological circumstances in several visceral organs, such as the stomach, intestines, kidneys, and internal sex processes. Non-visceral structures include the throat, lungs, and heart. Some examples of organic sensations are hunger, thirst, nausea, etc.

Sensation,  a girl eating a sandwich, showing how the stomach is an example of an organ sensation, StudySmarterA girl eating a sandwich, pexels.com

As they're known, hunger pains are an unpleasant sensation induced by powerful stomach muscular contractions. Comfort, discomfort, and bodily well-being are all feelings that can't be pinpointed or localized. They are a result of the overall health of the person. These feelings combine to form a single overall experience known as common sensitivity or cenesthesia.

Special Sensation

Special sensation is a type that includes specialized organs: eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and skin. They may be easily distinguished from one another, localized, and related to specific space points on the body or in the outside environment. They provide information about the characteristics of external objects.

Sensation, A woman eating a doughnut, sensing a sweet taste, StudySmarterA woman eating a doughnut, sensing a sweet taste, pexels.com

Colors, sounds, tastes, smells, heat, cold, and pressure provide information about the sensory properties of external things.

When a person consumes food, the chemical components in the meal enter the mouth. They are dissolved by salivary enzymes, stimulating the taste buds and sending nerve signals to the brain.For instance, sugars and amino acids in meals trigger the sweet taste sensation.

Kinaesthetic or Motor Sensation

The sensation of movement is called the kinaesthetic sense—the brain's knowledge of muscle position, both in motion and at rest.

It refers to the muscles, tendons, joints, or the articular sense, distinguished from one another. Strain in the muscles, tendons, and joints causes motor sensation reported to the brain by afferent nerves. Motor sensation has a high cognitive and affective value.

A group playing basketball showing kinaesthetic sense, pexels.com | StudySmarter OriginalsA group playing basketball showing kinaesthetic sense, pexels.com

They teach us about the fundamental qualities of matter, such as extension, location, distance, direction, and the weights of objects. Eye muscle sensations are particularly beneficial for estimating the distance, size, and shape of things viewed.

One example is the ability to judge the distance of a ball from the net when shooting a ball or when comparing weights when lifting and moving objects.

Differences Between Sensation and Perception

There is a significant difference between sensation and perception in many aspects. Sensation is a process that involves the detection of stimuli by receptors or cells. It occurs when the receptor receives stimuli. When your phone rings, it emits sound waves, which sensory receptors interpret as sound. This scenario is an example of transduction.

As mentioned earlier, transduction is a step in the sensation process. The central nervous system interprets signals generated by sensory receptors in response to a stimulus, resulting in sensation experiences. This process entails a conversion of sensory information to nerve impulses.

On the other hand, perception is making sense of sensations. This procedure necessitates the arrangement and evaluation of sensory data. Sensation is when you hear a voice calling your name. When you realize it's your mother calling, you've arrived at perception. Understanding what you've just sensed is part of that perception.

Sensation is the output of our senses produced as a signal to the brain, and it is a physical process. Perception differs from sensation in that it is a psychological process that involves signal interpretation and the creation of neural response.

As we explore and experience the world through our senses, sensation is a critical component of perception that makes us aware of the various sensory aspects of the things around us. In contrast, perception allows us to appreciate these sensory qualities and see how it relates to us and the environment.

How to Get Sensation Back

Sensation is the first step towards perception, but what happens if there's an impairment or even loss of sensation? How can a person perceive pain without the aid of sensation?

For example, diabetics may develop an infection if a small cut or wound in the skin is not identified and treated immediately due to reduced sensitivity caused by damaged nerves.

Generally, sensation numbness results from nerve damage or compressed nerve and may signify underlying severe conditions.

Sensation, accidents and injury can cause loss of sensation, StudySmarterAccidents and injury can cause loss of sensation, pexels.com

Numbness varies in severity, and most cases are mild. Still, in severe cases, a person may have reduced sensitivity to pain and temperature, causing burns or even losing balance and difficulty coordinating body movements.

Loss of sensation occurs due to nerve damage from diabetes. Still, other conditions such as Lyme disease, kidney disease, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, tumor, animal and insect bites, exposure to toxins, and even certain medications can also cause numbness or impaired sensation. There are instances where abnormal nerve pressure may also cause numbness due to osteoporosis, herniated disc, arthritis, and bone spurs.

Sensation Numbness Diagnosis

Sensation numbness is diagnosed based on symptoms, medical history, and a physical exam, including reflex and muscle function tests. The doctor will ask about the beginning of sensation numbness, the appearance of other symptoms, the afflicted body parts, and activities during the onset of numbness. Your doctor will use the answers to these questions to figure out what's causing the numbness.

Sensation, blood tests to indicate diabetes, or any problems relating to sensation, StudySmarterBlood tests to indicate diabetes, or any problems relating to sensation, pexels.com

Diagnostic tests

  • Blood tests: A doctor may take a blood sample to check for any indications of diabetes, kidney disease, and B-vitamin deficiencies.

  • Diagnostic imaging tests: These sensation tests are used to detect tumor development or cancer spread, as well as indicators of stroke or brain injury, multiple sclerosis, and spinal cord disorders that could all cause nerve issues. X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs are examples of these tests.

  • Nerve conduction studies: By applying electrode patches to the skin over the suspected injured nerve causing symptoms, this treatment aids in determining nerve damage or injury. The nerves are then stimulated, and the speed of the electric impulses is measured. If nerve signals are transmitted abnormally, this could suggest nerve damage or injury.

  • Electromyography: This test is used along with nerve conduction studies to evaluate muscle and nerve cell function. An electrode needle is introduced into one or more muscles of the arm, leg, or back, causing minor pain that lasts only a few seconds. The electromyograph machine measures and displays the electrical activity of the muscles.

Management and Treatment of Sensation Numbness

Sensation treatment will depend on the ailment or condition causing the nerve problems. The treatment goal is to control and correct the underlying cause of numbness, and it is tailored to the patient's condition and affected nerves. Examples of treatment include:

  • Medications for nerve pain

  • Regulating blood sugar for diabetic patients

  • Exercises to strengthen the spine and enhance blood flow, as well as encourage mobility

  • Removal of any tumor growth or spinal repair through surgery

  • Custom-made shoes for neuropathy

Sensation - Key takeaways

  • Sensation is a conscious or mental process generated by stimulating a sense organ, sensory nerve, or sensory region in the brain.
  • Our senses follow a three-step process: they absorb sensory stimuli, convert them into neural impulses, and then transport the neural information to our brain.
  • Sensationalism is a kind of empiricism in which sensations or sense perceptions are the only sources of knowledge.
  • Perception differs from sensation in that it is a psychological process that involves signal interpretation and the creation of neural response.
  • Numbness results from nerve damage or compressed nerve and may be a sign of serious underlying conditions such as diabetes or kidney disease.

Frequently Asked Questions about Sensation

Sensation is a conscious or mental process generated by stimulating a sense organ, sensory nerve, or sensory region in the brain. It is a physical process by which our sense organs, namely the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and skin, react to external stimuli.

An example of sensation happens when someone eats. When a person consumes food, the chemical components in the meal enter the mouth. They are dissolved by salivary enzymes, stimulating the taste buds and sending nerve signals to the brain.

The types of sensation are organic sensation, special sensation, and kinesthetic or motor sensation.

Sensationalism is a kind of empiricism in which sensation or sense perceptions are the only sources of knowledge. Sensation and recalled images characterize all experiences and mental activities.

To get sensation back, someone can go to treatment for numbness. The treatment goal is to control and correct the underlying cause of numbness, and it is tailored to the patient's condition and affected nerves. Examples of treatment include:


  • Medications for nerve pain
  • Regulating blood sugar for diabetic patients
  • Exercises to strengthen the spine and enhance blood flow, as well as encourage mobility
  • Removal of any tumor growth or spinal repair through surgery
  • Custom-made shoes for neuropathy

Final Sensation Quiz

Question

Which of the following statements best defines sensations?

Show answer

Answer

Sensation is a conscious or mental process generated by stimulating a sense organ, sensory nerve, or sensory region in the brain.

Show question

Question

Which sensations are caused by physiological circumstances in several visceral organs?

Show answer

Answer

Organic sensations

Show question

Question

Which organs are involved in special sensations?

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Answer

eyes, ears, nose, tongue, skin

Show question

Question

Which of the following defines sensationalism?

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Answer

Sensationalism is a kind of empiricism in which sensations or sense perceptions are the only sources of knowledge.

Show question

Question

This type of sensation teaches us about the fundamental qualities of matter, such as extension, location, distance, direction, and the weights of objects.

Show answer

Answer

Kinaesthetic or motor sensations

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Question

Which is not true about sensation?

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Answer

Sensation is a psychological process.

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Question

Which is not true about perception?

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Answer

Perception is both a physical and psychological process.

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Question

What is an example of organic sensation?

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Answer

Hunger

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Question

What is an example of a special sensation?

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Answer

Bitter taste

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Question

What is an example of kinaesthetic sensation?

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Answer

Eye muscle sensation

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Question

All are possible diagnostic tests for numbness except:

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Answer

ECG

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Question

This diagnostic test involves the application of electrode patches to the skin over the suspected injured nerve causing symptoms.

Show answer

Answer

Nerve conduction studies

Show question

Question

An electrode needle is introduced into one or more muscles of the arm, leg, or back, causing little pain that lasts only a few seconds.

Show answer

Answer

Electromyography

Show question

Question

The process of transferring one type of energy into another that our brain can use is known as ________.

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Answer

Transduction

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Question

Which is not true about management and treatment of numbness?

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Answer

Regulating blood sugar has no benefit for people with diabetes.

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Question

What commonly causes sensation numbness?

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Answer

Nerve damage or compressed nerves.

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Question

What 5 parts of the body do we experience sensation through?


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Answer

Eyes, ears nose, tongue, and skin

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Question

What is the 3 step process of sensation?


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Answer

To absorb sensory stimuli, convert them into neural impulses, and transport neural information to the brain.

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Question

What comes first: Sensation or Perception?

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Answer

Sensation

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Question

_________ is the psychological process of making meaning of the inputs.

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Answer

Perception

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Question

What is empiricism?

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Answer

The belief that all thoughts are born out of personal experience.

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Question

What does tabula rasa mean?


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Answer

Clean slate

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Question

Hunger, thirst, and nausea are all examples of _____________.

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Answer

Organic sensation

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Question

What is cenesthesia? 

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Answer

Common sensivity

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Question

The sensation of movement is called

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Answer

Kinaesthetic sense

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Question

How is sensation numbness diagnosed?

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Answer

Medical history, symptoms, physical exams, reflex and muscle tests.

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