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Lecture

Consciousness This is the lecture outline, as provided by Dr. Ennis, with my own annotations.


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYCH101
Professor
Richard Ennis

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SENSATION AND PERCEPTION
Lecture Outline
Two Inseparable Processes
See Two Inseparable Processes Overhead
Example: The Eye As Optic Instrument
Eye does not focus very well (squeezes the lens)
o Pictures appear blurry, elongated, covered in blood vessels (which the eye
sees), and the optical nerve entry appears as a black hole
o Perception cleans up the image to what we see
Transduction: From "E" to "P"
Transduction is how we get an external information into our head and interpret it
o In vision, light energy is transduced into neuronal language (impulses)
o Photo sensitive rods and cones in the retina of the eye detect light waves,
transfer it to photoreceptors, then to the optic nerve and finally to the visual
cortex of the occipital lobe, via the thalamus
o Audition (hearing) works when pressure sensitive hair cells in cochlea of
inner ear capture sound waves and transfer them to the tympanic
membrane, to the ossicles, to the cochlea, to the basilar membrane, to the
auditory nerve and finally to the auditory cortex of the temporal lobes, via
the thalamus
o In gustation, taste cells in taste buds sense the shape of molecules
dissolved in the saliva and send an impulse to the facial nerve and finally to
the taste receptors throughout the brain via the thalamus
o Tactile (touch) is also directed by the thalamus
o In Olfaction, however, the mucous membrane of the nose senses the shape
of the molecules in inhaled air, sends them to the olfactory nerve and to the
limbic system. The thalamus is not involved
Many primitive reactions are linked to the limbic system (share limbic
system with many other animals, even reptiles)
Vision takes up the bulk of our detecting the external world
Olfaction, however, is the first sense to have likely evolved 100 000 000 years
before the others
o Human sense of smell is one of the weakest in the animal kingdom
o Inside nasal passages are actual dendrites, dangling in the air, the axons of
which reach the brain directly
o We can detect over 100 000 different odors
o Olfactory sensory neurons are replaced most often (once every two months
or so)
Humans may be able to fall in love via olfaction
Male smell may influence the female reproductive cycle
o Subliminal visual messaging does not influence behaviour
o Smells that we may not even detect may influence our behaviour
Lemon and peppermint makes people more alert
Spiced apple and vanilla made people more relaxed
Pumping pleasant smells into the subway reduced subway shoving
by 40%
In a mall, the smell of coffee or cookies, increased helping behaviour
o Female sexual arousal is influenced by these smells:
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