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Lab 4.1 Lab 5: Sensory Physiology OBJECTIVES Describe the effect of receptive field (primary and secondary) size and lateral inhibition on acuity in a sensory pathway Describe the effect of density of receptors on sensitivity Define sensory adaptation and explain how it occurs Explain how hearing acuity is tested Interpret results of tests for deafness, visual acuity, and astigmatism Explain what the near point of accommodation measures and how it is correlated with age Explain what causes the blind spot, color blindness, presbyopia, astigmatism, myopia and hyperopia Describe the reflex pathway for the pupillary light and consensual reflexes BACKGROUND: The nervous system cannot operate without information about the internal and external environment. This comes through the receptors of the general (touch, proprioception, etc.) and special (sight, hearing, etc.) senses. Not only does each receptor type monitor a different kind of stimulus (change in the environment), but over time a receptor's sensitivity may vary due to adaptation, disease or drugs. For this reason, it is a good idea to be familiar with the normal distribution and response of the various receptors, and to be able to perform diagnostic tests for sensory function. A. Two-Point Discrimination Test Cutaneous receptors have areas within which they can detect stimuli. These regions are called (primary) receptive fields. There is an inverse relationship between the density of receptors and the size of receptive field: the more receptors in an area of the skin the smaller their individual receptive fields. The two point discrimination test will tell you about the size of touch receptor receptive fields in different areas of the skin. From that information you will infer the density of the receptors. Lab 4.2 On the left below you see an area of the skin where the receptive fields are small, and on the right an area where they are larger. If you are confused about how this test works, do it on these “skin” areas. Equipment: dividers metric ruler 1. With the divider points very close together, touch your lab partner's skin on the area of the body indicated. Make sure both points touch the skin at the same time. Don't let the subject watch! If he can feel two distinct points with the dividers as close together as they will come, use 2 pins instead. 2. Increase the distance between the divider points until the subject feels two distinct points. 3. Record this distance in millimeters in data chart A. 4. Repeat for each area of the body. Data Chart A - Two Point Discrimination Test area of body: distance when two points felt (in mm) face back of hand palm of hand fingertips back of neck back of calf Lab 4.3 B. Adaptation of Touch Receptors Equipment: 4 coins of the same size and weight. 1. Have the subject close his/her eyes. 2. Warm a coin in your hand and place it on the anterior surface of his/her forearm and time the duration of sensation (from when you placed the coin on his/her arm until he/she stops feeling it. Record the time in seconds in data chart B. 3. Move the coin to a second location and repeat the test. Record data. 4. Now, stack 3 more coins (same size) on top of the first one. Record the duration of sensation. 5. To test a different set of receptors, use the tip of a pencil to slowly bend an individual hair on the subject’s arm and have him/her tell you what happens to the sensation. Data Chart B - Adaptation of Touch Receptors location duration of sensation (in sec.) 1st location, 1 coin 2nd location, 1 coin 2nd location, 4 coins C. Adaptation of Temperature Receptors Equipment: 3 beakers of water: warm (45 C), cool (not ice cold), and room temperature 1. Immerse the left index finger in warm water for 2 minutes. Then dip the right index finger into the same container of warm water, noting the difference in sensation in data chart C. 2. Remove both fingers and wait 2 minutes before continuing. 3. Immerse the left index finger in warm water and the right one in cool water at the same time and leave them there for 2 minutes. Then immerse both simultaneously in a beaker of room temperature water and record your observations in data chart C. Data Chart C - Adaptation of Temperature Receptors Step #1: When the right index finger was immersed in warm water, the sensation was (warmer or cooler?) than the temperature felt from the left finger at the same time. Step #2: When immersed in room temperature water, the left index finger felt (warm or cool?) and the right index finger felt (warm or cool?) Lab 4.4 D. Hearing Tests The receptors for hearing are located in the organ of Corti in the cochlea. Not only are they sensitive to varying intensities of sound, but because of their arrangement and the structure of the basilar membrane, they are also sensitive to different pitches of sound. Normally, sound waves enter the ear through the external auditory canal, causing vibration (in turn) of the tympanic membrane, the auditory ossicles, the oval window and the basilar membrane. When sound waves cannot reach the cochlea because of damage to the tympanic membrane or the ossicles, they can still be transmitted, less efficiently, through the temporal bone. Damage to the tympanic membrane or ossicles causes conduction deafness, which can usually be partially corrected by surgery or the use of hearing aids. Damage to the cochlea or cochlear nerve causes nerve or sensorineural deafness. 1. Test for (simulated) hearing impairment (should be performed in a quiet area) Equipment: kitchen timer, cotton balls, meter stick a. Seat subject in a quiet area. b. Plug one of his ears with cotton. c. With the subject facing forward, with eyes closed, hold the timer next to one of his ears and move the timer steadily and slowly away from the ear. d. The subject should indicate when he no longer hears the ticking. e. Measure this distance and record in data chart D. f. Repeat this test once for the other ear and record. Data Chart D: Hearing Acuity distance (centimeters) right ear distance (centimeters) left ear 2. Rinne Test In this test, a tuning fork is used to differentiate conduction and sensorineural deafness. The fork of a vibrating tuning fork is held close to the ear. If the person cannot hear it, he is deaf. The stem of the vibrating tuning fork is then placed on the mastoid process. If the person still cannot hear it, he has nerve deafness. If he can hear it, he has conduction deafness. A normal person, of course, can hear the sound in both situations. The cotton is used to simulate conduction deafness. Lab 4.5 Equipment: tuning fork, cotton a. Set the tuning fork in motion by striking it gently against the edge of a book (do not strike it on a hard surface) b. Hold the forks near the ear. If the subject cannot hear anything, what is wrong? c. Now carefully place the stem against the mastoid process behind one ear, with the fork pointing slightly down and back, away from the ear. (Be careful not to touch the fork or you will cause it to stop vibrating.) If the subject cannot hear anything, what is wrong? d. Repeat the test with the ear plugged. What was the difference? e. Repeat both tests on the other side. 3. Weber Test This test also uses a tuning fork to differentiate between conduction and sensorineural deafness. The stem of a vibrating tuning fork is placed in the center of the forehead. (How are the vibrations transmitted to the inner ear?) If the subject has conduction deafness in one ear, the sound will be perceived to be louder in that ear because the receptors have become more sensitive. If the subject has sensorineural deafness in one ear, the sound will be perceived to be louder in the other ear. Equipment: tuning fork cotton a. Set the tuning fork in motion by striking it gently against the edge of a book. b. Place the stem in the center of the forehead. Does the sound seem louder in one ear? c. Plug one ear with cotton to simulate conduction deafness. d. Repeat test. E. Visual Tests The receptors for vision are located in the retina. But there are other structures which contribute to vision: the cornea, iris, lens, and optic nerve, among others. Abnormalities in any of these structures may cause diminished vision. Lab 4.6 1. Visual Acuity The Snellen eye chart is printed with lines of letters of varying sizes. Each size of letter can be read by a normal eye (one with no abnormalities of the lens or cornea) at a certain number of feet. The top line is designated 20/200; a normal eye can distinguish the letter "E" at 200 feet. Line 8 is designated 20/20; a normal eye can distinguish all of the letters in line 8 from 20 feet away. If you can only distinguish the letter in line 1 while standing 20 feet from the chart, you have "20/200" vision in that eye. It means you can see at 20 feet away what a "normal" eye can see from 200 feet away. In other words, you have very poor visual acuity, and you probably wear corrective lenses. Equipment: Snellen eye chart 3" x 5" card a. Stand behind the 20 foot line (marked on the floor with masking tape) and remove your glasses. (If you wear contacts, leave them in.) b. Have your lab partner stand close to the eye chart. c. Cover one eye with the 3x5 card and read aloud the line with the smallest letters you can see. Your lab partner will check your accuracy. d. Record your visual acuity (20/?) for that eye. e. Repeat test with other eye, then with both eyes together and record results below. f. If you wear glasses, put them back on and repeat for each eye and then both eyes together. Data Chart E-1: Visual Acuity without glasses left eye alone right eye alone both eyes together with glasses 2. Near Point of Accommodation As you age, the elasticity of your lens decreases, so that it becomes more difficult to accommodate for near vision. The older you are, the higher your near point (the farther it is from your eye). This is a gradual process that occurs in everyone, but may be more severe in one person than another. Equipment: card with letter, meter stick Lab 4.7 a. Close one eye and move the card toward the other eye until the image becomes blurred (when you no longer see a clear, sharp image). b. Measure and record this distance below. c. Repeat for the other eye and record below. Data Chart E-2: Near Point of Accommodation near point (cm) right eye near point (cm) left eye 3. Pupillary light reflex and consensual response The iris is a smooth muscle that controls pupil diameter and is innervated by the oculomotor nerve (III). The pupillary light reflex occurs when a bright light is shined into one or both eyes--the response is pupillary constriction to restrict the amount of light that enters the eye. The pupillary light reflex, by definition, only occurs in eyes that have been exposed to bright light. The lack of the pupillary light reflex is a sign of severe brain trauma or disease. The consensual response is a different but associated reflex that can occur simultaneously with the pupillary light reflex if only one eye is stimulated. If bright light is shined into one eye, the consensual response occurs in the other eye. a. move to an area where you are not in extremely bright light b. have the subject hold an index card between his eyes so that a light shined in one eye cannot reach the other eye c. you will need two observers, one for each eye--the response in both eyes has to be observed simultaneously d. hold a penlight pointed at the subject’s ear, and then move it rapidly to shine into his/her eye for a few seconds (2 or 3) e. watch carefully for changes in pupil diameter—one person should monitor each eye Questions 1. What type of receptors adapt slowly or not at all? ___________________ 2. What type of receptors adapt rapidly? ___________________ Lab 4.8 3. What type of receptor primarily provides information about changes in the stimulus? ______________________ 4. Muscle spindles are _____________________. 5. Touch receptors are ____________________. 6. Pain receptors are ___________________. 7. This question tests your understanding of receptor density and its effect on your ability to discriminate individual stimuli. Each dot represents a touch receptor in the skin and each letter (a., b., c.) represents a different region of the body. The receptors are found in areas of equal size. Complete the two-point discrimination exercise as described above. Transfer your data to the chart below for the skin regions in the chart. Match your data to the area (a, b or c) that represents their relative density of receptors. body area tested back of hand fingertips back of calf two-point threshold (mm) (region a.) skin surface ( region b.) area (a., b., or c.?) ( region c.) Lab 4.9 8. The responses you got in lab could be caused by EITHER differential distribution of sensory receptors in the skin OR convergence in the afferent pathway or BOTH. Based on your data from Chart A, this question tests your understanding of convergence and its effect on the ability to discriminate individual stimuli. Each dot represents a touch receptor in the skin (the distal end of the first order neuron). For this question, you have to assume that differences in sensitivity in the skin are due to convergence instead of different receptor densities. In the gray area draw second order neurons that indicate the correct relative amount of convergence needed to account for your results in lab. Then draw in the first order neurons in the unshaded area. skin surface back of hand fingertips back of calf 9. The Rinne hearing test was performed on 3 subjects (A, B and C) whose results are described in the table below. For each person, indicate whether they have normal hearing, conduction deafness, or sensorineural deafness: subject A stem on mastoid yes fork by ear canal yes subject B yes no subject C no no condition 10. Using the data in the chart below for Tom and Sue, write in the two possible combinations of type of deafness and ear in which it occurs: subject Tom Sue test results louder in left ear louder in right ear possible problems Lab 4.10 11. If your visual acuity is 20/10, is your vision better or worse than the “normal” eye? a. better b. worse 12. You have “normal” vision. You are at a baseball game with your brother, who has 20/115 vision. Assuming neither of you is wearing corrective lenses, which of you would have to sit closer to the field to see the game clearly? a. you b. your brother 13. The diagrams below represent cross sections of lenses of two different people, both of whom have 20/20 vision. They are both trying to read material in the same font size that is about 12 inches from their eyes. Which person is older? Ed Ann 14. BRIEFLY explain what causes each disorder. Myopia and hyperopia each have two possible causes. a. astigmatism b. hyperopia c. myopia 15. This graph shows relationships between age, lens elasticity, and the near point of vision. age a. the solid line represents the relationship between age and ____________________. b. the dotted line represents the relationship between age and ___________________. 16. The pupillary light reflex is (ipsilateral or contralateral) and the consensual reflex is (ipsilateral or contralateral).