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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYB51H3
Professor
Matthias Niemeier
Semester
Fall

Description
Psyb51-Perception and cognition -All exams have short answers What can be learned from early philosophy about perception -pyschophysics: major important things in psych, a lot is derived from here, comes from philosophy Early philosophy of perception -plato: wrote allegory of the cave, pictures us as how we perceive the world -he claims we are like prisoners born in a cave facing the back wall of the cave -we don’t know anything that is outside the cave because we are chained to the wall, we are a prisoner of our perception -our conception of reality is a product of what is gathered through the senses -sense came into existence to serve purposes ex: survival ex: venus fly trap, primitive motor system, plant needs sensation to survive, the vibration by the fly the plant senses it, color is however irrelevant -bees see ultraviolet, snakes have heat senses, dogs have hearing abilities and birds have certain types acute vision and motion detection -we can sometimes develop sense that we normally don’t have ex: ben underwood, was blind had good hearing, and learned echolocation like dolphins, by the sounds you can tell whats out there, by how the sounds bounced off of things. -plato: our reality is restricted to things that we perceive -depends on our sensory channels, what kind of senses we have and also depends on ourselves -heraclitus: greek philosopher, you can never step into same river twice, it’s the same river -the perceiver can not perceive the same event the same way the next time around -our perception system is designed to pick out changes we are tuned to that -adaptation is a key element of being able to perceive something in the same place -look clearly at a male face you get adapted to the mal face, you perceive malee faces more and vice versa -your perception for neutral face is biased -what you biased your perception to is what you are more likely to perceive -democritus: laughing philosopher -came up with the concept of atoms, that which can no longer be split is an atom -had some ideas of perception, he was confident of what we see is what we get -his sensation theory of molecules peeling off and traveling through the air is false but true for olfaction and taste -**senssory transduction: perception is the result of the physical interaction between the world and our bodies -sensation: is low level mechanistic action of how energy is transduced into neural signals -perception: high level aspect is cognitive aspect, what we make out of sensation Nativism and empiricism -nativism: things we know we don’t know from experience we are just born with those things -plato: reality comes from people’s minds and souls -we have something we’re born with -descartes: dualist view mind is born with the ideas (nativism goes with dualism). Mind and body are separate entities -prob with dualist view-If there is a soul or mind independent of matter, how do they interact? if mind has no physical properties how does it interact with the body -so ppl assumed mind and body are separate entities but worked together -simplest explanation: monism: idea that the mind and body are reduced to a single principle of being -sollypsism: its just I that exists -everything is matter (materialism): the mind is somehow associated with functions of the brain -materialism:there is no soul, but how can u be born and know things unless you experience them -so the empiricist: experience is the only soul of knowledge -hobbes: everything that can be known has to be learned through the senses -locke: come tableraza we are born clean slate, and as we experience things we learn them -nativism: born with knowledge empiricism: we gain knowledge -nowadays: combination of both -empiricism: we learn from our senses, but that’s not all -nativist: we are born with things, which is passed on through our genes The dawn of psychophysics -fechner: developed idea of panphsychism: all matter has consciousness -his philosophy was the driving force to develop something modern, he was kinda the finder of experimental psych -he invented psychophysics -trying to understand how the mind works, somehow we must make a connection -fechner was inspired by one of his collegues weber -weber: smallest change in stimulus can be dectected as smallest -ex: put a weight in someones hand the change the weight but a lighter, difference in weight . when you put 400g to tell is the next weight is heavier or lighter the other has to be at least 10 gram difference -weber? -weber fraction -this shows a change in perception, this Is how we know there is change -small step to show show perception works, quantify things -JND (just noticeable difference) smallest detected change from the reference stimulus aka difference threshold -2 point threshold: min distance at which 2 stimuli can be distinguished (remember biob30) -if there is different distribution of receptors in hand larger amount of receptors compared to the back -fechners law: relationship between stimulus magnitude -you can actually predict based on physics what people will perceive -absolute threshold: point where you are not sure if you perceive anymore -when you start guessing you may not see but you can guess and be 50% right Psychophysical methods -curve a function plot of yes I saw something -different loudnesses on this curve. Stimulus level in function of percentage of times its prese
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