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Name: ________________________________________________________________________________________________ Period: _______

Title: Skin Exposure to Different Stimulus Lab

Purpose: To investigate the characteristics of skin and reflexes

Background: In complete sentences, write a paragraph on the characteristics of skin. Include
information about skin structure and functions that will help you to complete this

Part A: Evaporation
1. Have your partner close his/her eyes and put their hands flat on the table in
front of them.
2. Dip 1 cotton ball into the water beaker. Dip the 2​nd​ one into the alcohol
3. Dab 1 of your partner’s wrist with the water cotton ball and the other wrist
with the alcohol cotton ball.
4. Allow your partner to record their observations in their data chart.
5. Now allow your partner to repeat steps 1-4 on your wrists.

Part B: Sweaty Face
1. Get 1-cornstarch solution papers and bring them to your desk.
2. Pat the oiliest parts of your face like chin, cheeks, and nose.
3. Take a picture of your cornstarch paper and insert it into your data table.
a. Make sure that your picture is clear and as close as possible​.
4. Record your observations in your data table.

Part C: Touch Points
1. Get 2 toothpicks and bring them to your desk.
2. Have your partner close his/her eyes and put their arms flat on the desk in
front of them with their palms facing up.
3. Place the toothpicks 2 inches apart on 1 forearm and press down gently.
4. Reduce the distance of the toothpicks until your partner feels only 1 point.
5. Have your partner record the final distance of the toothpicks on their data
6. Repeat steps 2-5 on your partner’s ​forearm, palm, and shin.
7. Allow your partner to record their observations in their data table.
8. Now allow your partner to repeat steps 2-7 on you.
Part D: Pupillary Reflex
The ​pupillary light reflex​ (PLR) is the constriction of the pupil that is elicited by an increase in
illumination of the retina. This is a parasympathetic response; whereas, a
decrease in illumination results in the pupil dilating, a sympathetic response.

1. Record the “normal” diameter of the pupil by holding a ruler close to the eye.
(Do this for both pupils.) Record these baseline measurements in the attached
data table.
2. Have the subject shield the right eye with his or her hand. Then shine a
flashlight into the left eye for five seconds. Measure the pupil diameter in both
eyes immediately and record in the data table.

​Table A: Evaporation


Water Alcohol
Which felt

Table B: Sweaty Face Table C: Touch Print

Picture of
the Paper
to the

Body Area Toothpick Distance of
Last Poke




Table D: Pupillary Reflex
Right pupil Left Pupil Right pupil Left pupil
Pupil Diameter

PART E. General Sensation
The following experiments test mechanoreceptors and thermoreceptors in the skin.
Demonstrating referred pain
Referred pain is the phenomenon of perceiving pain in one area of the body when another area is
actually receiving the painful stimulus. This occurs because somatic and visceral pain fibers​ often
travel through the same nerve pathways in the spinal cord and brain.

1) Immerse the subject’s elbow in the ice water
2) Record the quality (severity) and locality of pain at 1 minute intervals for 3 minutes.
3) Remove the elbow and at the end of 1 minute continue to assess any changes in location and
quality of pain.

Fig. 8. Pain Assessment Scale
Table E. Assessing Referred Pain; Elbow in Ice
Time Pain Scale Location and Quality of Pain
Minutes 0-10




Remove elbow from ice at end of 3 minutes


1. Explain why one liquid felt cooler than the other in Part A of the lab.

2. What evidence did the color change of the cornstarch paper show in Part B of the lab?

3. List the different types of sweat glands present in skin.
4. What layer of the skin contains sebaceous glands?

5. What are the different touch receptors within the skin?

6. Which receptors were working during Part D of the lab? How do you know?

7. In Part E, what is the function of the pupillary reflex (why is it “beneficial” for the pupils to
change diameter when exposed to a bright light?

8. What part of the brain is responsible for initiating the pupillary reflex?

9. What could an abnormal pupillary reflex indicate?
10. In Part E in the lab, how did the progression and quality of pain change during the

Conclusion: In complete sentences, write a paragraph including the following points: What was the
purpose of this lab, explain your evidence from this lab that supports your purpose, what
information from your background supports what you learned in this lab and explain
how, what was a factor that was not taken into account that may have affected the
results, explain how the results were affect, and explain the importance of the
Integumentary System to the body and homeostasis.

The purpose of this lab was to investigate the characteristics of the skin and reflexes. I learned
and observed the way skin responds to different stimuli and also the way our reflexes react. The
Integumentary System is a very necessary part of maintaining homeostasis. The skin prevents
entry of dangerous substances and our reflexes respond to stimuli to keep us aware and safe. In
Part A, the water felt cooler to me. While we were trying to interpret which liquid was colder, our
free nerve endings sent impulses to the brain to interpret this sensation. My face was not that oily
but in Part B of the experiment I learned that the sweat from our face is a product of our
sebaceous glands secreting sebum , or oils . In Part D, or the pupillary reflex, I noticed that our
pupils constrict as a reflex to protect our eyes from intense light. The one factor or place I felt that
we could have made an error was in the Touch Print activity. I feel that we definitely made some
human errors in our measurements. In conclusion, I learned that sensations we feel are a
primary function of the brain and that skin is very very essential to our human body.