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PSYB51 Lecture 1.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough

PSYB51-Lecture 1 - Final exam will definitely have one short answer question lecture 11 and one from lecture 12, then one lecture question for first 5 lectures and then one question on second half - Psychophysics grew from philosophy, early cornerstone of psychology which is very important today(way of testing) - Platos The Allegory of The Cave o Our conception of reality is critically dependent on information gathered through our senses, that is our reality(reality is based on what we are able to perceive) o Pictured us as how we perceive the world, he claimed that we are like prisoners born in a cave chained to a wall facing back wall, what we see are the shadows projected onto the back wall created by objects carrying around behind your back, the light itself is just from a fire burning o You dont know whats outside of the cave because you are the prisoner of your perception, Plato was very pessimistic - Perception and your sense of reality are products of evolution, they came to existence to serve certain purposes: o Survival- plants dont usually have behaviours, but fly traps show some sort of behaviour upon some stimulation, the plant uses very primitive sensory-motor mechanism that the plant developed to survive(even if the plant is limited in its sensation it is okay because that is all it needs to survive) o Importance of type of energy in environment determines which senses have developed(ie colour is irrelevant to fly trap Certain animals have senses we havent developed: Bees can see ultraviolet light, snakes can sense infrared light developed for its environment and diet, dogs can hear ultrasonic power, some birds have acute vision, chicken etc. have 4 types of photoreceptors(better colour vision) also some can see magnetic field o i.e. we might not see the entire reality but we probably dont need to worry too much, because we have other senses - We can sometimes develop certain types of senses we wont have, Ben lost his eyes as a toddler but had good ear so he learned echolocation o Echolocation send out a sound and as it bounces off an obstacle what you hear in the echo tells you whats out there - Plato: o Perception depends on events on energy that change in the world o Our understanding of reality is restricted to things that we can perceive o Something forgotten? Depends on us, depends on what sort of sensory channels we have - Heraclitus: You can never step into the same river twice-if you step into the river, you have changed in some way o Panta rhei: everything flows o Idea that perceiver cannot perceive the same event in exactly the same manner each time Experience/learning Adaption- a reduction in response caused by prior or continuing stimulation Change-our perceptual system is designed to pick up change than anything else - Adaption Demo 1: if you look long enough at the plus, and then the dot on baby picture you dont see the two colour differences of that picture. When you fixate at the picture on left, the blue picture is fixated in the left visual field and the yellow colour is the right visual field. So in the left visual field you get adapted to blue and right visual field gets adapted to the warmer colour, so when you look at the babys picture your left visual field the perception of blue is slightly reduced and your right visual fields perception of the warmer colour is slightly reduced so this counterbalances the discolouration of the baby picture , simple form of adaption in early sensation level in retina - Demo 2: 1 for male and female faces that are in competition with each other, so when you look at one gender face, one group of neurons gets exhausted and the other one gets stronger so the perception of the neutral face is biased in the opposite direction (ie if you see the male face then the neutral face will look female) - Demo 3: whether you say the rat or man biased your perception as to how you saw this ambiguous picture(equal components of mouse and man); this is not adaption because then it would work the opposite direction - Democritus(460-370 BCE): The world is made of atoms that collide with one another(came up with the idea of atoms, cannot be divide any further) o Sensation are caused by atoms leavings objects and making contact with our sense organs , clearly wrong for vision etc.(however, his idea was true for the sense of smell, certain molecules peel off a rose for eg and travels through the air and that is what you smell; also how taste works) o He was confident that what we see is what we get o Perception is the result of physical interaction between and world and our bodies (sensory transduction) Idea of primary qualities and secondary qualities(when you see something it would be secondary quality because atoms are peeling off something and entering eyes as opposed to touching something where you are directly interacting with it) (low level sensation vs. High level perception)- sensation is more of the mechanistic aspect of how physical energy is transduced into neural signal, perception is more cognitive, higher level, it is what we make out of sensation, illusion will show us that they are not the same thing Sensory transducer: a receptor that converts physical energy from the environment into neural activity, its true for every sense - Nativism: the idea that the mind produces ideas that are not derived from external sources We are just born with these ideas rather than learn through experience, Plato was one of the first people to say this Plate said truest sense of reality comes from peoples minds and souls, we are born with it - 2000 years later there was Descartes(1596-1650) dualist view of world: both mind and body exist; intertwined with nativism and a bit with scientific point of view, mind is born with these ideas, there are certain things we cannot know with experience o 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, Plato o A problem with dualism is that if there is a mind that is independent of matter, then it is hard to figure out how these two things interact with each other, how can the non-physical mind interact with a physical body? - A simpler explanation is the idea of monism: the idea that the mind and matter are formed from or reducible to a single ultimate substance or principle of being o Everything can be a thought(mentalism) or solilism(only I exist, everything/everyone else is an illusion) - Materialism: is another type of monism, the m
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