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Lecture 2

PSYB51 lecture 2 .docx

7 Pages
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Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYB51H3
Professor
Matthias Neimier

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PSYB51 lecture 2  Adaptation: a reduction in response caused by prior or continuing stimulation  What does early philosophy teach us about perception?  The nativism and empiricism of knowledge > Dualism vs. materialism  Psychophysics – the beginning of psychology  Biology of perception  Neuroscience methods Plato’s “The Allegory of the Cave”(380 BCE) – Our conception of reality is critically dependent on information gathered through our senses – Story of prisoners being born in a cave chained to a wall facing a back of the cave, all that they see is nothing but the shadows being cast on the back of the cave (just the 2D objects of being carried around), so depictions of optics being carried around – What they perceive is very limited – Morpheus was a real person – Plato’s metaphor for perception -> reality is much richer than what we perceive  Perception and your sense of reality are the products of evolution: - Survival - Importance of type of energy in the environment determines which senses have developed - i.e. we might not see the entire reality but we probably don’t need to worry too much - The plant live in dessert -> flies land on his trap and the trap closes and eats the fly (sensory motor transaction) - This plant has a kind of sense -> tactile sense - The plant doesn’t close when there’s nothing in it - Bees have good vision: see ultraviolet light - Snakes are able to see infrared light - Dogs have clean ears and noses - Heraclitus: No man ever steps in the same river twice" - a person who perceive something cannot perceive something again in the same manner - panta rhei: everything flows  Experience/learning  Adaptation: if you’re not used to something, just adapt to it! - a reduction in response caused by prior or continuing stimulation, no matter what sense - ex.  Change: we are much better at things that change Demo 2: Faces When you look at the female face first, then the middle face, the centre face looks a bit more male When you look at the male face first, then the face looks a bit more female to you Demo 3: rat and old man picture Demo 4: dots in a circle while blinking -> conscious has to do with change Early Philosophy of Perception  Democritus: often depicted as the laughing philosopher  There are two kinds of knowing, the one he calls “legitimate” (gnesie: genuine) and the other “bastard”. The “bastard” knowledge is concerned with the perception through the senses, therefore it is insufficient and subjective  the world is made up of atoms that collide with one another  Sensations are caused by atoms leaving objects and making contact with our sense organs  Perception is the result of the physical interaction between the world and our bodies  This is the real world because all sensations are caused by atoms  Sensory transducer: a receptor that converts physical energy from the environment into neural activity  atoms peeling off the surface  for chemical senses, it’s molecules that somehow peel off objects and interact with your senses  Nativism (empiricism at that time): the idea that the mind produces ideas that are not derived from external sources (knowledge that you’re born with)  Plato: truest sense of reality comes from people’s minds and souls  2000 years later…  Dualism (you not only have a body but also a mind/soul) and materialism  Descartes: dualist view of the world: both mind and body exist  Mind-body dualism: the idea positing the existence of two distinct principles of being in the universe: spirit/soul and matter/body e.g. Descartes  Monism: the idea that the mind and matter are formed from, or reducible to, a single ultimate substance or principle  Materialism: the idea that physical matter is the only reality, and everything including the mind can be explained in terms of matter and physical phenomena. Materialism is a type of monism.  Empiricism: the idea that experience from the senses is the only source of knowledge  Hobbes believed that everything that could ever be imagined or known had to be learned through senses  Locke: sought to explain how all thoughts, even complex ones, could be constructed from experience with a collection of sensations  if you’re not a materialist, you MUST be an empiricist  Behaviourists: learnt experience, but behaviourism has failed; we can’t explain everything by being learned The Dawn of Psychophysicsts  Fechner invented ‘psychophysics’, thought to be the true founder of experimental psychology - pioneering work relating changes in the physical world to changes in our psychological experiences - all matter has consciousness  Panpsychism: the idea that all matter has consciousness  Psychophysics: the science of defining quantitative relationships between physical and psychological(subjective) events  If matter has one property, like weight, then it should be possible to quantify this other property, like matter, just like how we quantify weight  Weber discovered that the smallest change in a stimulus, such as the weight of an object, that can be detected is a constant proportion of the stimulus level—‘Weber’s Law’ > JND(Just Noticeable Difference):The smallest detectable difference between two stimuli, or the mini
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