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Lecture

Psychology Chapter 4-Psychology 105/105

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYCO105
Professor
Connie Varnhagen
Semester
Fall

Description
Chapter 4: Terms: Synaesthesia- The perceptual experience of one sense that is evoked by another sense. Sensation-Simple awareness due to the stimulation of a sense organ. Perception-The organization, identification, and interpretation of a sensation in order to form a mental representation. Transduction-What takes place when many sensors in the body convert physical signals from the environment into neural signals sent to the central nervous system. Just Noticeable Difference (JND)-The minimal change in a stimulus that can just barely be detected. Weber’s Law-The JND of a stimulus is a constant property despite variations in intensity. Signal Detection Theory-An observation that the response to a stimulus depends both on a person’s sensitivity to the stimulus in the presence of noise and on a person’s response criterion. Sensory Adaptation-Sensitivity to prolonged stimulation tends to decline over time as an organism adapts to certain conditions. Visual Acuity-The ability to see fine detail. Retina-Light sensitive tissue lining the back of the eyeball. Accommodation-The process by which the eye maintains a clear image on the retina. Cones-Photoreceptors that detect color, operate under normal daylight conditions, and allow us to focus on fine detail. Rods-Photoreceptors that become active only under low-light conditions for night vision. Fovea-An area of the retina where vision is the clearest and there are no rods at all. Blind Spot-An area of the retina that contains neither rods nor cones and therefore has no mechanism to sense light. Receptive Field-The region of the sensory surface that, when stimulated, causes a change in the firing rate of that neuron. Trichromatic Color Representation-The pattern of responding across the three types of cones that provides a unique code for each color. Color-Opponent System-Pairs of visual neurons that work in opposition. Area V1-The part of the occipital lobe that contains the primary visual cortex. Visual-Form Agnosia-The inability to recognize objects by sight. Perceptual Constancy-A perceptual principle stating that even as aspects of sensory signals change, perception remains consistent. Template-A mental representation that can be directly compared to a viewed shape in the retinal image. Monocular Depth Cues-Aspects of a scene that yield information about depth when viewed with only one eye. Binocular Disparity-The difference in the retinal images of the two eyes that provides information about depth. Motion Parallax-A depth cue based on the movement of the head over time. Apparent Motion-The perception of movement as a result of alternating signals appearing in rapid succession in different locations. Pitch-How high or low a sound is. Loudness-A sound’s intensity. Timbre-A listener’s experience of sound quality or resonance. Cochlea-A fluid-filled tube that is the organ of auditory transduction. Basilar Membrane-A structure in the inner ear that undulates when vibrations from the ossicles reach the cochlear fluid. Hair cells-Specialized auditory receptor neurons embedded in the basilar membrane. Area A1-A portion of the temporal lobe that contains the primary auditory cortex. Place Code-The cochlea encodes different frequencies at different locations along the basilar membrane. Temporal Code-The cochlea registers low frequencies via the firing rate of action entering the auditory nerve. Haptic Perception-The active exploration of the environment by touching and grasping objects with our hands. Referred Pain-Feeling of pain when sensory information from internal and external areas converge on the same nerve cells in the spinal cord. Gate-Control Theory-A theory of pain perception based on the idea that signals arriving from pain receptors in the body can be stopped, or gated, by interneurons in the spinal cord via feedback from two directions. Vestibular System-The three fluid-filled semicircular canals and adjacent organs located next to the cochlea in each inner ear. Olfactory Receptor Neurons (ORNS)-Receptor cells that initiate the sense of smell. Olfactory Bulb-A brain structure located above the nasal cavity beneath the frontal lobes. Pheromones-Biochemical odorants emitted by other membranes of their species that can affect an animal’s behaviour or physiology. Taste buds-The organ of taste transduction. Summary for Chapter 4: The Doorway to Psychology:  Sensation and perception are separate events that, from the vantage point of the perceiver, feel like one single process. Sensation is simple awareness due to the stimulation of a sense organ, whereas perception is a brain activity that organizes, identifies, and interprets a sensation in order to form a mental representation.  Transduction is the process that converts physical energy in the world into neural signals in the central nervous system. All senses rely on transduction, although the types of energy being sensed differ (e.g., light waves for vision, sound waves for audition).  Psychophysics was a field of study during the mid- to late- 1800s that sought to understand the link between properties of a physical stimulus and people’s psychological reactions to them.  Psychophysics researches developed the idea of an absolute threshold, the minimal intensity needed to just barely detect a stimulus, and the difference threshold, the minimal change in a stimulus that can just barely be detected. The difference threshold is also referred to as the just noticeable difference (JND). Signal detection theory represents a refinement of these basic approaches and takes into account a perceived hit, miss, false alarm, and correct rejection rates.  Sensory adaptation occurs when sensitivity to prolonged stimulation tends to decline over time as an organism adapts to current conditions. This adaptive process illustrates that the perceptual system is more sensitive to changes in stimulation than to constant levels of stimulation. Vision: More Than Meets the Eye:  Vision takes place when light waves are transduced by cells in the eye. Light waves have the properties of length, amplitude, and purity. These physical properties are perceived as color, brightness, and saturation, respectively.  Light enters the eye through the cornea and pupil, landing on the retina, tissue that lines the back of each eyeball. The retina is composed of three layers of cells: photoreceptors, bipolar cells, and ret
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