Sensory Interaction: Definition & Examples

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  • 0:01 What Is Sensory Interaction?
  • 1:18 Examples
  • 2:10 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Yolanda Williams

Yolanda has taught college Psychology and Ethics, and has a doctorate of philosophy in counselor education and supervision.

Have you noticed that it is easier to understand what someone is saying when you are looking at them versus when you cannot see them? This is due to sensory interaction. Learn more about sensory interaction from examples and test your knowledge with a quiz.

What Is Sensory Interaction?

Jane and Emily are two best friends enjoying a night on the town. They get hungry, so they decide to stop at their favorite pizza place and share a cheese pizza. Jane takes a bite of the pizza and comments on how cheesy and delicious it is. Jane can name every single one of the spices used in the crust as it hits her tongue. Emily, however, says that the pizza tastes different than she expected. The flavors aren't as strong as they used to be, and she cannot taste any of the spices. Emily also notes that she is not feeling well. Emily is currently getting over a cold and has a stuffy nose. So why does is Emily think that the cheese pizza tastes differently? To answer this question, we must look closer at sensory interaction.

When we think about the senses, we usually think of them as separate things, when, in fact, they work together to help us complete most daily tasks. Sensory interaction refers to the ability of one sense to influence or interact with another. Two senses that commonly interact with each other are taste and smell. In our story, Jane was able to pick out the spices and taste the flavor of the pizza because she could not only taste the pizza, but she could also smell its aroma. Emily's nose was stuffy, so she was not able to smell the pizza properly. As a result, the taste of the pizza was not as strong and she could not pick out the spices.

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