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Option: Communication


5.  Option:  Communication

CONTEXT

Humans are social animals and, as such, are in constant communication with others. Many animals have an extensive range of communication strategies that include both visual and vocal signals. Learning these signals relies heavily on the involvement of all the sensory organs as well as the brain.

While the full range of senses can be involved in communication, the relative importance of each of the senses differs from animal to animal. This module focuses on the two senses that are important for many vertebrate and invertebrate animals – sight and hearing.

Human cultural development exploded with the development of speech and the concurrent increasing complexity of communication. For some people, however, communication signals are not identified effectively because of faults in the sending, receiving or deciphering of some of the signals. With increasing advances in technology, assistance for people with difficulties in communicating continues to improve.

This module increases students’ understanding of the history, applications and uses of biology, the implications of biology for society and the environment, and current issues, research and developments in biology.



CONTENT

NOTE   This is only that part of the syllabus that specifies outcomes - there is much more to the syllabus.  This content statement is provided to you as a guide to what you should study in preparation for examinations.  It has been copied from the official document, but the numbering  system is my own.

The dot points in regular typeface are prefixed by “Students learn to -” and those in italics are prefixed by

“Students -”.


Click on the links for notes, prep and practical report requirements.



1.   Humans, and other animals, are able to detect a range of stimuli from the external environment, some of which are useful for communication

1.1  Students learn to identify the role of receptors in detecting stimuli

1.2  Students identify data sources, gather and process information from secondary sources to identify the range of senses involved in communication

1.3  Students learn to explain that the response to a stimulus involves:

  1. -stimulus

  2. -receptor

  3. -messenger

  4. -effector

  5. -response

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  1. 2.Visual communication involves the eye registering changes in the immediate environment.

2.1 Students learn to describe the anatomy and function of the human eye, including the:

  1. -conjunctiva

  2. -cornea

  3. -sclera

  4. -choroid

  5. -retina

  6. -iris

  7. -lens

  8. -aqueous and vitreous humor

  9. -ciliary body

  10. -optic nerve

  11. -

2.2 Students iplan, choose equipment or resources and perform a first-hand investigation of a mammalian eye to gather first-hand data to relate structures to functions.

2.3 Students learn to identify the limited range of wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum detected by humans and compare this range with those of other vertebrates and invertebrates.

2.4 Students iuse available evidence to suggest reasons for the differences in range of electromagnetic radiation detected by humans and other animals.


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3.The clarity of the signal transferred can affect interpretation of the intended visual communication

3.1  Students learn to identify the conditions under which refraction of light occurs

3.2  Students learn to identify the cornea, aqueous humor, lens and vitreous humor as refractive media

3.3  Students plan, choose equipment or resources and perform a first-hand investigation to model the process of accommodation by passing rays of light through convex lenses of different focal lengths

3.4  Students learn to identify accommodation as the focusing on objects at different distances, describe its achievement through the change in curvature of the lens and explain its importance

3.5  Students analyse information from secondary sources to describe changes in the shape of the eye’s lens when focusing on near and far objects

3.6  Students learn to compare the change in the refractive power of the lens from rest to maximum accommodation

3.7  Students learn to distinguish between myopia and hyperopia and outline how technologies can be used to correct these conditions.

3.8  Students learn to explain how the production of two different images of a view can result in depth perception

3.9  Students process and analyse information from secondary sources to describe cataracts and the technology that can be used to prevent blindness from cataracts and discuss the implications of this technology for society


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4.The light signal reaching the retina is transformed into an electrical impulse

4.1  Students learn to identify photoreceptor cells as those containing light sensitive pigments and explain that these cells convert light images into electrochemical signals that the brain can interpret

4.2  Students process and analyse information from secondary sources to compare and describe the nature and functioning of photoreceptor cells in mammals, insects and in one other animal

4.3  Students learn to describe the differences in distribution, structure and function of the photoreceptor cells in the human eye

4.4  Students learn to outline the role of rhodopsin in rods

4.5  Students learn to identify that there are three types of cones, each containing a separate pigment sensitive to either blue, red or green light

4.6  Students learn to explain that colour blindness in humans results from the lack of one or more of the colour-sensitive pigments in the cones

4.7  Students process and analyse information from secondary sources to describe and analyse the use of colour for communication in animals and relate this to the occurrence of colour vision in animals


Notes on 5.45.4.html



5.Sound is also a very important communication medium for humans and other animals

5.1  Students learn to explain why sound is a useful and versatile form of communication

5.2  Students plan and perform a first-hand investigation to gather data to identify the relationship between wavelength, frequency and pitch of a sound

5.3  Students learn to explain that sound is produced by vibrating objects and that the frequency of the sound is the same as the frequency of the vibration of the source of the sound

5.4  Students learn to outline the structure of the human larynx and the associated structures that assist the production of sound

5.5  Students gather and process information from secondary sources to outline and compare some of the structures used by animals other than humans to produce sound

Notes on 5.55.5.html



6.Animals that produce vibrations also have organs to detect vibrations

6.1  Students learn to outline and compare the detection of vibrations by insects, fish and mammals

6.2  Students learn to describe the anatomy and function of the human ear, including:

  1. -pinna

  2. -tympanic membrane

  3. -ear ossicles

  4. -oval window

  5. -round window

  6. -cochlea

  7. -organ of Corti

  8. -auditory nerve

6.3  Students gather, process and analyse information from secondary sources on the structure of a mammalian ear to relate structures to functions

6.4  Students learn to outline the role of the Eustachian tube

6.5  Students learn to outline the path of a sound wave through the external, middle and inner ear and identify the energy transformations that occur

6.6  Students learn to describe the relationship between the distribution of hair cells in the organ of Corti and the detection of sounds of different frequencies

6.7  Students process information from secondary sources to outline the range of frequencies detected by humans as sound and compare this range with two other mammals, discussing possible reasons for the differences identified

6.8  Students learn to outline the role of the sound shadow cast by the head in the location of sound

6.9  Students process information from secondary sources to evaluate a hearing aid and a cochlear implant in terms of:

  1. -the position and type of energy transfer occurring

  2. -conditions under which the technology will assist hearing

  3. -limitations of each technology


Notes on 5.65.6.html




7.Signals from the eye and ear are transmitted as electro-chemical changes in the membranes of the optic and auditory nerves

7.1  Students learn to identify that a nerve is a bundle of neuronal fibres

7.2 Students learn to identify neurones as nerve cells that are the transmitters of signals by electro-chemical changes in their membranes

7.3  Students perform a first-hand investigation using stained prepared slides and/ or electron micrographs to gather information about the structure of neurones and nerves

7.4  Students learn to define the term ‘threshold’ and explain why not all stimuli generate an action potential

7.5  Students present information from secondary sources to graphically represent a typical action potential

7.6  Students perform a first-hand investigation to examine an appropriate mammalian brain or model of a human brain to gather information to distinguish the cerebrum, cerebellum and medulla oblongata and locate the regions involved in speech, sight and sound perception

7.7  Students learn to identify those areas of the cerebrum involved in the perception and interpretation of light and sound

7.8  Students learn to explain, using specific examples, the importance of correct interpretation of sensory signals by the brain for the coordination of animal behaviour


Notes on 5.75.7.html




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