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Experience is Subjective Oct 22.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Wagner Denton

PSY 100 October 22, 2013 Experience is Highly Subjective Sensation and Perception • Sensation: involves the detection of external stimuli, responses to those stimuli and the transmission of these responses to the brain. Stimuli has to be translated into chemical or electrical signals for your brain to understand them. • Perception: Involves the processing, organization and interpretation of sensory signals in the brain, which results in an internal representation of the stimuli- and our conscious experience of it. Sensation first, perception second • Everything is experienced in the brain. Context and change are important • Transduction: Process by which sensory receptors pass impulses to connecting neurons when they receive stimulation. Most info goes through the thalamus first (relay station) before being directed to a particular part of the cortex • SensoryAdaptation: Sensing change is important because that’s adaptive (cold pool, fire in residence) Stop responding to information after a while Sensing Chemicals: Taste and Smell • The stimuli for taste are chemical substances from food • Taste receptors, found in taste buds, send signals to the brain where they then produce the experience of taste • 5 basic tastes: sweet, salty, sour, bitter, savory • Taste experience occurs in your brain, where all of these signals are integrated • Stimuli for smell are chemical substances from outside the body that dissolve in fluid on mucous membranes in the nose • The olfactory epithelium is a thin layer of tissue that is embedded with smell receptors, which transmit information to the olfactory bulb, which is the brain center for smell. Pleasantness vs. intensity Touch • Nerve signals enter the thalamus and are projected to the primary somatosensory cortex in the parietal lobe • More sensitive areas, more cortical space • Remember the experience occurs in your brain (e.g. phantom limb) • Fast, myelinated fibres: sharp, immediate pain (protection) • Slow, non-myelinated fibres: dull, steady pain (recuperation) • Pain is a perceptual experience that occurs in the brain • Gate control theory of pain: For pain to be experienced, pain receptors must be activated, and the neural gate in the spinal cord must allow the signals through to the brain • If the gate is open- pain is experienced • If the gate is closed- pain is reduced or prevented Vision • Cornea is the clear “window” in the front of the pupil and with the lens focuses the image onto the retina • The iris is the coloured part of the eye • The retina receives light and records visual messages • The optic nerve carries visual messages from the retina to the brain • The pupil is the hole in the iris that controls the amount of light entering the eye • The lens focuses light onto the retina • The sclera is the eye’s strong outer coat • Accomodation: Muscles change the shape of the lens, flattening on distant objects and thickening it to focus on closer objects • Photoreceptors: Convert the energy from light particles (photons) into a chemical reaction that produces an electrical signal • Rods: Retinal cells that respond to low levels of light, and result in black and white perception. About 120 million in each retina, located along the edges • Cones: Retinal cells that respond to higher levels of light, and result in colour perception.About 6 million in each retina, located in the fovea • Visual Transmission: Rods and cones- bipolar, amacrine, horizontal cells, ganglion cells/optic nerve- thalamus- primary visual cortex – either the dorsal “where” stream or the ventral “what” stream • Dorsal “where” stream: Specialized for spatial perception, determining where an object is and its spatial relation to other objects • Ventral “what” stream: Specialized for perception and recognition of objects, such as determining colour and shape • Three types of cones: Short wavelengths (blue) medium wavelengths (green) Long wavelengths (red) Perception of color is determined by the ratio of activity among these three types of receptors • Colour blindness: Most often genetic, red/green color blindness is most common, more common in males because it is carried on the X chromosome • Red/Green colour blindness: People mix up colors which have red or green in them • Proximity: The closer two figures are, the more likely we are to group them together and see them as being a part of the same object • Similarity: We tend to group figures according to how closely they resemble each other • Good continuation: We tend to interpret intersecting lines as continuous rather than changing direction radically • Closure: We tend to complete figures that have gaps • Illusory contours: We tend to perceive contours, even wh
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