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Audition, the Chemical Senses, and Touch.docx

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PSYC 1000
Anneke Olthof

Audition, the Chemical Senses, and Touch Sensation and Perception • They are different • Information comes in through our senses • Our brains interpret this information ➡ Look with your eyes, see with your brain Sensation • ➡ Stimulus-detection process Organs translate stimuli into nerve impulses ➡ • Perception Organizing and giving meaning to input ➡ • The same sensory stimulus may be perceived differently in different contexts • The same sensory stimulus may be perceived differently with different experiences • The point is that our interpretation of sensory input is not just dependent on the sensory input itself What you see is not necessarily what you get • Sensory Processes • The process of sensation can be seen as three steps ➡ Reception •The stimulation of sensory receptor cells by energy (heat, sound, light, etc) ➡ Transduction •Transforming this cell stimulation into neural impulses ➡ Transmission •Delivering this neural information to the brain to be processed • Psychophysics ➡ Studies relations between physical characteristics of stimuli and sensory capabilities ➡ Concerned with two kinds of sensitivity •Absolute Threshold ➡ Asks about the absolute limits of sensitivity ➡ The lowest intensity at which a stimulus can be detected correctly 50% of the time ➡ Lower absolute threshold = greater sensitivity •Difference Threshold ➡ Asks about the difference between stimuli ➡ Smallest difference between two stimuli that can be detected 50% of the time ➡ Just noticeable difference ➡ Weber’s Law Sensory adaption • ➡ Diminishing sensitivity to unchanging stimulus Occurs in all sensory modalities ➡ • Adaptive Value ➡ Frees senses from the unchanging to be more sensitive to changes in the environment Audition • The stimulus: Sound waves ➡ Described by 2 characteristics •Frequency ➡ Determines pitch or tone •Amplitude ➡ Determines intensity • The outer ear collects sound
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