Ch 8: The Aging Sensory System

About This Chapter

Watch video lessons and learn how our sensory systems change during late adulthood. These lessons are just a portion of's psychology courses.

The Aging Sensory System - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

In this chapter, you'll learn how the aging process affects the sensory system, the part of our nervous system that processes our voluntary and involuntary responses to stimuli. You'll begin with an introduction to the various systems that enable us to hear, see, smell, taste and touch, as well as those that dictate our sense of balance and movement. The instructor will also discuss how we respond to external stimuli, such as heat, light or sound, and then process those responses through our nervous systems.

The age-related effects on our five senses will also be covered, including how aware we are of our bodies in relation to their physical surroundings. Additional topics include how our sensory responses slow with age and the relationship between motor changes and physiological reactions, such as those associated with muscles and organs. After you complete this chapter, you should be able to identify and discuss:

  • The subsystems that make up the human sensory system, including the auditory, olfactory and visual systems
  • Sensation and perception, including how we organize and interpret sensory information
  • Somesthesia or how we experience our bodies, pain and touch
  • Organ reserve and the ability of our bodies to support life

The Sensory SystemProvide an overview of the sensory system.
Introduction to Sensation and PerceptionIdentify the means and mechanisms by which humans respond to external stimuli.
How Age Effects Our SensesDiscuss the age-related changes that affect the senses, including those associated with balance, hearing, smell, taste and vision. Include how somesthesia, or bodily sensations, are affected.
Sensory and Motor Changes in Late AdulthoodUnderstand the physical changes that occur during late adulthood, including sensory and motor changes, changes in reaction time, organ reserve and physiological reactions.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
Not Taken
Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
Not Taken

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 160 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.