PSYC 1200 Lecture 3c
Chapter 4: Senses Other Than Vision
Audition Refers to hearing.
Sound A wave of pressure caused by object vibrations, which causes vibration of air molecules.
It is a perceptual experience; it does not exist separate from the perceiver
It requires a perceiver to have the sense organ that can detect the changes in air molecules.
Amplitude Determined by the height of sound waves.
Higher amplitude is perceived as higher intensity sound.
Amplitude determines loudness, which is measured in decibels (dB).
Frequency Determined by the wavelength of sound waves; the number of times per second that a wave will cycle through a high peak and a
low point. It is measured in hertz (Hz).
Higher frequency is perceived as higher pitch sound (e.g. the sound of wind chimes).
Lower frequency is perceived as lower pitch sound (e.g. the sound of a tuba).
Complexity/ Purity Determined by the ranges of wavelengths (or frequencies) in a sound waves – perceived as a sound’s timbre.
One Wavelength = Pure Tone. Real life sounds consists of multiple frequencies.
Timbre Determined by its unique pattern of frequencies.
The same note on a Trumpet, Piano, Flute, or Violin sound different because they produce a different pattern of sound frequencies.
Outer Ear Shaped to collect sound waves and send them toward the middle ear.
Pinna tunnels sounds into the auditory canal.
Middle Ear Sound waves vibrate the eardrum, which vibrates three bones (hammer, anvil, stirrup).
Stirrup vibrates the oval window of the inner ear.
Inner Ear Organ of Corti runs along the Cochlea, which contains cilia that sit on top of the basilar membrane.
Stirrup tapping on the oval window sends waves of fluid in the cochlea, causing the basilar membrane to move, which effects
movement of the hair cells.
The effect of the basilar membrane on hair cells depends on the frequency of the sound waves entering the ear. The intensity
and location of the hair cells determines the perception of the sounds experienced.
Hair cells press against a membrane initiating signals about sound frequency and amplitude to be sent to the brain via the
Taste Bumps on tongue called papillae contain taste buds. Taste receptors are fibers inside taste buds.
Taste receptors provide info about basic tastes (salty, sour, bitter, sweet, and umami) based on chemicals in your mouth.
As you get older you lose some of your taste buds. Super tasters have 4-10 times as many taste receptors than normal.
What Determines Taste Learning experience and the environment one grows up in influences taste preferences.
e.g. North Americans eat grubs, Inuit children eat fish eyes, tribes in East Africa drink blood.
1. The unique combination of basic tastes.