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PSYB51H3 (313)


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University of Toronto Scarborough
Matthias Niemeier

PSYB51 Lec 1 (Chapter 1) Short answer questions – half a page answer - Have sequences of questions as short answer questions - Know SMALL DETAILS for exams! o CUMULATIVE - Attention lecture and multi-sensory integration are the only non-overlap topics - Exams mostly based on lectures Final – one SAQ from lec 12 and lec 11 FOR SURE!!! - will be more focused on the latter lectures - one SAQ from one of the last 5 lectures before the second midterm and one from the material from midterm1 - MCATS, GRE, etc. are adaptive  based on psychophysics; comes from philosophy originally Early Philosophy of Perception Plato‟s “Allegory of the Cave” - Also wrote Atlantis - Allegory of the cave  claims we are like prisoners born in a cave, chained to a wall and facing the back wall. All we see are shadows being made by someone behind us. That is all we know about reality - Our conception of reality is dependent on information gathered through our senses - Reality is based on what we are able to perceive Perception and sense of reality are products of evolution: - Survival o Ex. Venus fly traps – fly landing on it will cause the plant to close  Is a simple sensory motor system that the plant has developed  Vibrating of the bug causes it to do that  All the plant cares about is the movement it feels  everything else is unimportant to the plant; colour, size, etc Some animals able to sense stimuli that humans cannot… - Bees: can see UV light; flowers are more colorful and have more patterns on them - Snakes: can see infrared light; humans can only feel it. Snakes use it to catch mice; environment and diet - Dogs: supersonic hearing o Humans don‟t need as keen a sense as dogs - Birds: some certain ones have very acute vision; able to see tiny motions o Chicken and other birds have 4 types of color receptors; have richer color fields o Other birds are able to see magnetic fields Story of Ben Underwood (echolocation) - Lost vision and was not able to see but was able to learn echolocation  dolphin or bat use this to communicate - When they hear sounds, they hear the bouncing of sounds which helps them differentiate how far away a sound is Plato: - Perception depends on events and energy that change in the world - Depends on sensory channels (senses) and on ourselves Heraclitus: “You can never step into the same river twice” - “panta rhei”: everything flows; cant step into the same river twice o When you step in the river, it gets changed and does not stay the same river as from before you stepped in it - Idea that perceiver cannot perceive the same event in exactly the same manner each time because we LEARN; we have experiences o Experience/learning o Adaptation – key component o Changes – our perception picks up changes moreso than anything else Adaptation: a reduction in response caused by prior or continuing stimulation Demo 1: - Blue is the left visual field and yellow is the right visual field - So when looking back at baby, blue (left) perception is slightly reduced (49:00/155:38) Demo 2: Faces - As you look more at a clearly female or male face, your perception for gender changes  gets adapted - When staring at the woman‟s face and then at the gender neutral face, it looks more like a man‟s face - There are specialized neurons for male and female faces that are in competition with each other; when looking at one gender, those neurons get exhausted and the other gender neurons get stronger o Therefore, when staring at a female face for a long time, a gender neutral face will look more male than female Demo 3: look and don‟t look - Perception was biased as to how the ambiguous picture was seen: was equally the mouse and man but our perception depends on the picture we first saw Democritus (depicted as a laughing person): - “the laughing philosopher” - Came up with concept of atoms  the smallest thing that could not be split anymore - Was confident that what we see is what we get - Sensations are caused by atoms leaving objects and making contact with our sensory organs o Completely wrong for vision and audition o Is true for olfaction and taste  Perception is the result of the physical interaction between the world and our bodies – sensory transduction - Primary vs secondary qualities o Difference is direct contact vs peeling of atoms - Low-level sensation vs high-level perception o Sensation = mechanistic aspect of how physical energy is transduced into neurosignals o Perception = more cognitive aspect; NOT the same as sensation  is what we make of our sensations **!! FINAL - Sensory transduction: a receptor that converts physical energy in the environment into neural activity Nativism & Empiricism Nativism: the idea that the mind produces ideas that are not derived from external sources - we are born with certain ideas - information is put in our genes; things our parents learned, etc. will be put in our genes for us to also learn Descartes - Dualist view of the world: both mind and body exist - The mind is born with these ideas  nativism - Mind- body dualism: the idea positing the existence of 2 distinct principles in the universe o Spirit/soul or matter/body o Problem with dualist view: if there is a mind that is independent of matter, it is tough to imagine how these two things interact with each other Simpler explanation: Monism: the idea that mind and matter are formed from, or reducible to, a single ultimate substance or principle of being Materialism: the idea that physical matter is the only reality and everything including the mind canbe explained in terms of matter and physical phenomena - is a type of monism - means there is no soul: poses another problem  how can we be born knowing things without experiencing them Empiricists: the idea that experience from the senses in the only source of knokledge Hobbes: believed that everything that could ever be known or even imagined had to be learned through the senses - Memories or imagery were thought of as decayed version of senses Locke: sought to explain how all thoughts, even complex ones, could be constructed from experience with a collection of sensations - Came up with tabula rasa Fechner - Developed idea of “panpsychism”: idea that all matter has consciousness - Invented “psychophysics”  experimental psychology Weber - Colleague of Fechner - Interested in somatosensory info – weights and touch - The smallest change in a stimulus such as the weight of an object, that can be detected is a constant propoertion of the stimulus level o Weber‟s Law  40  41g difference is 1g  400g  410g difference is 10g 
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