Is the way the brain deals with unchanging information from the environment

Kendra Cherry, MS, is an author, educational consultant, and speaker focused on helping students learn about psychology.

You watching: Is the way the brain deals with unchanging information from the environment


Amy Morin, LCSW, is the Editor-in-Chief of Verywell Mind. She's also a psychotherapist, the writer of the bestoffering book "13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do," and also the organize of The Verywell Mind Podcast.


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Imagine that you just walked into your favorite Italian restaurant. When you first walk through the door, the delicious smell of garlic and tomatoes is practically overwhelming. You sit dvery own to wait for a table, and also after a few minutes, the scents begin to dissipate till you badepend alert them. This is an instance of what is well-known as sensory adaptation.


Why We Experience Sensory Adaptation

Sensory adaptation describes a reduction in sensitivity to a stimulus after continuous exposure to it. While sensory adaptation reduces our awareness of a continuous stimulus, it helps free up our attention and resources to address various other stimuli in the atmosphere approximately us. All five of our senses are constantly adjusting to what"s about us, and also to us individually and what we are experiencing, such as aging or condition.

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Just imagine what it would certainly be choose if you didn"t experience sensory adaptation. You can discover yourself overwhelmed by the pungent smell of onions coming from the kitchen or the blare of the tv from the living room. Because continuous expocertain to a sensory stimulus reduces our sensitivity to it, we are able to shift our attention to various other points in our environment rather than concentrating on one overwhelming stimulus.


When you go right into a dark room or external at night, your eyes ultimately readjust to the darkness bereason your pupils enhuge to let in more light. Likewise, when you are in bideal light, your eyes adjust by the narrowing of your pupils. This is one more create of sensory adaptation.When you jump into a cold swimming pool or initially get right into a warm tub, the water might feel unpleasantly cold or much also hot, yet inevitably, your body adjusts to the temperature and also it feels just mildly cool or perfectly pleasant and also also, eventually, also cold.Even our hand-eye coordicountry adjusts as soon as important. For circumstances, if you put on goggles that make every little thing show up to be a small off and you attempt to throw a round at a things, inevitably your sensory adaptation will certainly take over and you"ll adjust sufficient to be able to hit it.

A Word From Verywell

If you"ve heard the term "nose blind," you"ve heard of sensory adaption; it"s the same thing. (But it"s different from anosmia, or the incapability to smell.) You also could notification that as soon as you"re amethod from a smell or a sound for a while, such as once you go on vacation and then return to your residence, you notification it aobtain. It will probably not take much time for you to adapt to the sensory inputs of your environment and go "blind" to them when again.

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