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CO- Sensation, Perception, and the Aging Process
Facilitator: Pearl Watts
- Date: 12/06/2018 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
- Location: Coast Community Library
225 Main Street
Pt. Arena, California 95468
Lifelong Learning fall classes
Sensation, Perception, and the Aging Process
Professor Francis B. Colavita
Sept 13th-Dec 6th
In 24 fascinating lectures, Professor Francis Colavita offers a biopsychological perspective on the way we humans navigate and react to the world around us in a process that is ever-changing. Our experiences are vastly different today than they were when we were children and our senses and brains were still developing; and those experiences are becoming ever more different as we age, when natural changes alert us to the need to compensate, often in ways that are quite positive.
For example, children have many more taste receptors than adults, so they are more taste sensitive. Therefore it's both ironic and understandable that children often prefer bland food drawn from a small list of favorites to avoid being overwhelmed. Adults, on the other hand, lose taste receptors as they age, so getting older often moves us in the opposite direction, prompting us to try new varieties of ethnic cuisines and spicier foods.
One of the delights of this course is the balance of the real-life examples Professor Colavita gives and the crisp presentation of the physiological systems that explain those examples.
How do our sensory systems gather and process raw information from the world, enabling us to see, hear, smell, taste, or touch? How do we keep our balance? Or understand exactly where we are in space, so that we can reach for our morning coffee cup and not close our hands around empty space?
How do our bodies create motor memories that allow us to learn and then automatically perform the most complex tasks—such as the laboriously practiced elements of a golf swing—in one smoothly executed motion, or run through a series of rapid gear shifts while driving on a winding mountain road?
What sort of sensory system allows us to feel pain but also works to protect us from its most intense levels?
Whether exploring the complex structures of the brain or inner ear, explaining with compassion the animal experiments that have given us so much knowledge of sensory systems, or using humorous personal anecdotes to illustrate a point, Professor Colavita delivers a course that informs, entertains, and even prepares us for the changes that lie ahead.