Dark adaptation Adjustment of the eye (particularly regeneration of visual pigments and dilatation of the pupil), such that, after observation in the dark, the sensitivity to light is greatly increased. the threshold response to light is decreased. This is a much slower process than light adaptation. Older people usually take longer to adapt to darkness and only reach a higher threshold than young people.

Light adaptation Adjustment of the eye (particularly bleaching of visual pigments and constriction of the pupil), such that, after observation of a bright field, the sensitivity to light is diminished, the threshold of luminance is increased.

Prism adaptation See vergence adaptation.

Sensory adaptation Mechanism by which the visual system adjusts to avoid confusion and diplopia of the perceptual impression due to an abnormal motor condition.

Vergence adaptation A process by which the eyes return to their condition of habitual heterophoria or orthophoria after a heterophoria has been induced by prisms (prism adaptation) in front of one or both eyes (as, for example, when lens centration does not coincide with the interpupillary distance), or by spherical lenses, or due to changes in the orbital contents with increasing age. This adaptation process may be related to the phenomenon of orthophorization.

Social adaptation adjustment and adaptation of humans to other individuals and community groups working together for a common purpose.

Physiological adaptation the ongoing process by which internal body functions are regulated and adjusted to maintain homeostasis in the internal environment.

Psychological adaptation the ongoing process, anchored in the emotions and intellect, by which humans sustain a balance in their mental and emotional states of being and in their interactions with their social and cultural environments.

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Adaptation refers to an individual's ability to adjust to new information and experiences. Learning is essentially adapting to our constantly changing environment. Through adaptation, we are able to adopt new behaviors that allow us to cope with change. The ability to adapt helps us grow mentally and continually develop.


1. Process by which a sensory organ adjusts to its environment.

2. The reduction in sensitivity to continuous sensory stimulation. The neurophysiological correlate corresponds to a decrease in the frequency of action potentials fired by a neuron, despite a stimulus of constant magnitude. Visual adaptation is prevented from occurring by the continuous involuntary movements of the eyes.

Chromatic adaptation Apparent changes in hue and saturation after prolonged exposure to a field of a specific color.
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