Sensory Lab

Last week in sports med, we tested the nerve sensitivity receptors on our fingertips, back of our hands, and forearms.  Olivia, my partner and I thought that the nerves on our fingertips would be the most sensitive in this investigation.  Here are the steps:


  1. Gather a paper clip and ruler.
  2. Choose one partner to go first.
  3. Measure the ends of the paper clip so they are 2cm apart.
  4. Make sure your partners eyes are closed, and then touch the fingertip, back of hand, or forearm ten times.  Switch between using one end of the paperclip and two ends. However do not let your partner know how many sides of the paper clip you are using.  Have your partner guess out loud how many sides of the paper clip you are using. Record data.
  5. Repeat step 4 but change 2cm to 1.5cm and record data
  6. Repeat step 4 but change 1.5cm to 1cm and record data
  7. Repeat step 4 but change 1cm to 0.5cm and record data
  8. Repeat step 4 but change 0.5 to 0.3 and record data




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  1. Do your results support the prediction you made in Pre-Lab Question 1 about which area of skin would have the highest density of sense receptors? Explain.

    I guessed that the fingertip would be the most sensitive, and I was correct. Since our hands feel more than anything, they would be the most sensitive. Our fingers helps us determine temperature, texture, and even liquid and solids.

  2. Why do you think that humans have a higher density of receptors for touch in some areas of skin than in other areas?
    I think that humans have a higher density and lower density of nerve receptors in different areas because of how we use our senses such as touch.
  3. Do your results and those of your partner support the prediction you made in Pre- Lab Question 3? Explain.
    I believed that the nerve receptors in our bodies would be the same with everyone. I realized that I have much less nerve receptors than my partner. I couldn’t tell some of the pokes from one or two.
  4. What factors could account for variation in sensitivity to touch from one person to another?
    The reasons that we all do not have the same amount of nerve receptors is because of our skin types since we all have different finger prints, types of skin, and are all different ages.
  5. How might activities such as playing a guitar, laying bricks, preparing food, or playing video games affect a person’s sensitivity to touch?
    Repetitive movements and motions can wear down your nerves and can cause your finger to become more sensitive or even numb to some feelings.