In this activity we see how our perception can be fooled under specific circumstances. When spinning in a chair, students can lose track of their motion to think that they're moving when they're not or that they've stopped when they haven't. It has to do with the way our inner ears detect motion. You'll want to use subjects that are not prone to motion-sickness for this investigation. 

 

Questions Answered:

  • How can our perception of motion be fooled? 
  • Can we think we're moving when we're not? 
  • Can we think we're not moving when we are?

 

Topics Addressed:

  • Our inner ear helps us determine how our body is moving. 
  • Our inner ear can be fooled into thinking we're moving when we aren't. 
  • Our inner ear can be fooled into thinking we're not moving when we are. 

 

Materials Needed

a chair that can spin, a friend

 

Preparation Time

none

 

Teaching Time 

About 20–30 minutes, longer with included writing assignment

 

Answer Key

Yes! Plus extensive teacher notes address the many questions that come up. You shouldn’t have to do outside research on this topic unless you want to. Specific charts and graphic organizers have keys. 

 

Target Audience

Middle School Students, Ages 11-14

 

Student Sheets

  • Scaffolded writing prompts & lab reporting 
  • Diagrams for labeling

Stimulus and Response Lab: Investigating Different Eye Reflexes

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    Answer Keys and Teacher Notes address most questions and issues that might arise in this study—you shouldn’t have to do any outside research unless you want to.

    Connect with me: If you have questions or problems, please let me know and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

     

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