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Lecture 4

PSY100H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Observational Learning, Nociceptor, Prefrontal Cortex

Course Code
Ashley Waggoner Denton

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Sensation and Perception
Test 1 doesn't include
82-95 pg (genetics)
173-183 pg ( drugs and consciousness)
Both textbook and lecture is important
independent variable vs dependent variable etc.
know the bolded/ italics terms
application – what is this an example of? Confound, operational definetion, independent
Phinease gage, london cabbies
Part I Sensation and perception
our focus = vision
Part II – learning – how two events are related in the world- different types of conditioning
What is the difference between sensation and perception?
first step
detection of stimuli out in the environment e.g. chemicals in the food etc.
how does it go from info out in the world to make it comprehendible for out brain
it also includes responses to stimuli (by receptors recognizing ) and transmission of the signal
conscious experience
Important things to keep in mind
everything is experienced in your brain – even though you feel the pain in your arm- it's coming
from your brain
the world you live in is constructed by you
context is important
Change is important- we are very responsive to change
> Transduction
transduction of information that you can actually use
the very first stage of the whole sensation process
how does it go from sensary receptor to the brain? Thalmus is important (for first receiving all
the sensory information and then relay it to other organs) except for the smell
How much of a stimulus needs to be out there for us to actually notice?- Psychophysics
how do we psychologically perceive things out there in the physical world
Absolute threshold – e.g. the quitest whisper you can hear half the time
Difference threshold- more about change; it depends on the amount of stimulus that is there to
begin with- e.g. you have two bowls of chilli- the first bowl = 1 teaspoon of chilli powder; 2nd
bowl = 2 teaspoon; you can detect that extra 1 table spoon
but if you have one bowl of chilli with 8 and another with 9 table spoons of chilli- harder to
detect the difference; it increases as the intensity of the stimulus increases
Response bias
the four types of options
Sensory adaptation
decrease in sensitivity to a constant levels of stimulus

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e.g. stepping into a cold pool
taste receptors found in taste buds
every taste is some combination of these 5 tastes
taste isn't experienced on our tongue – it's the brain; other sensory information about texture and
smell reaching the brain
chemicals dissolved in our saliva
chemicals dissolved in the mucous membrane
olfactory epithelium- top part of our nasal cavity where the chemicals get picked
smell doesn't go to the thalmus it goes to the olfactory bulb and then different areas of the brain
Pleasantness vs intensity
prefrontal cortex- determines if it's a pleasant or unpleasant smell
Amugdala- Intensity of the smell
Thousands of receptors – poorly understood how the smell receptors work, how many there are,
how combination of smells activate receptors
we can say if we like a smell but can't recognize smells
3 different types of touch receptors = haptic receptors
Temperature receptors-2 different types – one that responds to cold, one that responds to hot
Pressure receptors- found on the base of the hair or embedded in skin
Pain receptors- not just found in skin but everywhere
2 different types – slower and faster pain receptors
How does ithe information go from these receptors to the brain?
somatosensory cortex- responds to the sensory resceptors
comes from either the spinal cord or the trigeminal nerve
most sensitive areas to touch receive more cortical space
remember the touch experience occurs in your brain e.g. phantom limb pain- from the fake limb
– how can you feel pain from some part of your body that doesn't exist
Fast mylelinated fibres
allows us to remove away from the dangerous situation
responsible for protecting us
spinal arc coorelation from last week – e.g. hot stove
dull stead pain
usually follows fast myleinated fibres
reminds you that there is an injured part of you that requires attention/ extra care
Pain is there as an adaptor- it tells you what part of the body are injured- children that can't experience
pain can die young
Gate control theory of pain- how do we experience pain
in order for pain to be experienced as pain, the spinal gate needs to open
e.g. soldiers in the field because they are distracted – don't feel the pain for a while
Number of things can close the neural gate
if a girl falls down
small pain receptor fibres go to the neural gate in spinal cord which open and pain!
Mommy kisses you = distraction = neural gate is closed= pain no longer felt

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it's not just the distraction of things that closes the gate, large haptic recpetors can also close the
gate e.g. rubbing/ itching (larger sensory nerve fibres) on something can make the pain
experience go away
we don't have good explainations for some of the optical illusion
cornea- clear window in front of the eye
it works with the lens to focus light and image on the retna
pupil- controls the amount of light entering the eye- dilated = more light enters the eye
iris- surrounds the pupil
retna= back part of the eye that receives the light information where transduction happens
optic nerve leaves at the back of the eye- there is a blind spot without any receptors
brain makes up for it by filling in gaps and you don't notice it unless you do specific activities to
find your blind spot
the part that actually moves and changes shape to accomadate for near/far target; cornea is just
there for support (doesn't move)
near object = focus then everything else is a bloor- circular lens
far object= flattened out lens
Near-sightedness – myopia- if you are trying to focus at a far object, the lens isn't accomidating
to make the image focused properly at the back- you need another lens to help you do that
Photoreceptors- 2 types
first receptors that receive light signal and convert it to neural signal for brains to understand
Rods – many more rads than cones- located around the edges of the retina
Cones – located in the centre of the fovia
Visual transmisison
starts with rodes and cones
goes to bipolar ….other retnal cells
then it gets to ganglion cells
the axion of all the retnal ganglion cells clump together to form the optic nerve
signals travel down optic nerve to thalmus
primary visual cortex- osipidal lobe in the back of your brain
from there it goes to different part of the brain- 32 areas neeeded to control vision
2 different streams depending on what type of visual info are we getting
ventral = object recognition- what does the red car look like?- tempral lobe
dorsal where is it – spatial location- what lobe? P something
Dorsal lobe;
Ventral lobe_
Object agnosia – can't recognize objects but can pick it up because they know where it is and
how to pick it up (one hand or two hand, how to move the fingers etc)
Retnal ganglion cells
every neuron has what's known has it's receptic cells
what type of visual stimuli the receptor specifically responds to
On-centre off surround cell= particular type of ganglion cells
line represents how often the particular cell fires – baseline firing
if a light just stimulates the centre part of the cell- it fires much more frequently – this type of
info is what the cell is built to respond to
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