PS262 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Retinal Ganglion Cell, Spectral Sensitivity, Evoked Potential

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3 Jul 2017
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PS 262
Chapter 1 and Appendix
Why study perception?
- understand yourself
- practical reasons:
prosthetic devices
repair damaged sense organs
build artificial realities
design sensory environments
make technology easier to use
engineering
The Perceptual process:
- the road begins with stimuli in the environment and ends with the
behavioural responses of perceiving, recognizing, and taking action
Steps 1 and 2: Stimuli
- We begin with an environmental stimulus; the object that the person is
perceiving is about the light that is being reflected
- the reflection of light from the object introduces one of the central
principles of perception; the principle of transformation which states that
stimuli and responses created by stimuli are transformed or changed
between the environmental stimulus and perception
the first transformation occurs when light hits the object and is then
reflected from the object to the person’s eyes
the nature of the reflected light depends on properties of the light
energy hitting the tree, properties of the object, and properties of
the atmosphere through which the light is transmitted
properties of the light = time of day and the amount of sunlight
properties of the object = texture and shape
properties of the atmosphere = clear, dusty, or foggy
- When the reflected light reaches the eye it is transformed as it is focused
by the eyes optical system, which is the cornea at the front of the eye, and
the lens directly behind it
- The principle of representation: states that everything a person perceives
is based not on direct contact but stimuli but on representations of stimuli
that are formed on the receptor and the activity of the persons nervous
system
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Step 3: Receptor Processes/ Transduction
- Sensory receptors are cells specialized to respond to environmental energy
with each sensory systems receptors specialized to respond to a specific
type of energy
- Visual receptors respond to light, auditory to pressures in the air, touch
receptors to pressure transmitted through the skin, and smell and taste
receptors to chemicals entering through the nose and mouth
Visual receptors transform light energy into electrical energy
because they contain a light sensitive chemical called visual
pigment which reacts to light
the transformation of one form of energy into another form of
energy is transduction
Step 4: Neural Processing
- Once transduction occurs the object is represented by electrical signals in
thousands of visual receptors and these signals enter a vast interconnected
network of neurons, first in the retina and then out the back of the eye and
the in the brain.
- this complex network of neurons 1) transmits signal form the receptors
through the retina to the brain and then within the brain and 2) changes or
processes these signals as they are transmitted
- Neural processing: the changes in these signals that occur as they are
transmitted through the maze of neurons
- Primary receiving areas: areas of the cerebral cortex that first receive most
of the signals initiated by a senses receptors
example:
vision = occipital lobes
hearing = temporal lobes
skin senses; touch, temp, and pain = parietal lobes
frontal lobes receive signals from all of the senses and plays an important
role in perceptions
Steps 5-7: Behavioural Responses
Step 5: the person perceives the object
Step 6: the person recognizes it
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- Perception: is conscious awareness of the object
- Recognition: placing an object in a category that gives it meaning
- Visual form agnosia: inability to recognize objects may potential be caused
by a brain tumor
Step 7: Action
- involves motor activities
viewed as important outcome of the perceptual process because of
its importance for survival
- David Milner and Melyn Goodale proposed that early in the evolution of
animals, the major goal of visual processing was not to create a conscious
perception or picture of the environment but to help the animal control
navigation, catch prey, avoid obstacles, and detect predators which are all
crucial for animal survival
Stimulus = a thing that impinges on your sense (visual image)
Sensory cue = a sign that can be extracted from sensory input, indicates the
state of some property in the world
Perceptual system = uses a variety of cues, integrating info from different
resources
Our ability to integrate info is a good thing because the world is “noisy”
- rarely get a “pure” stimulus to detect and identify
- need to actively interpret environment: integrate all sensory info together,
and with info memory
How to Study Perception
Involves many sciences:
- Physics, anatomy and physiology, psychology, information science and
computer science
- The study of perception has allowed psychology to grow from its
philosophical roots into an experimental science, but deep philosophical
questions remain
3 methods:
- Physiological, psychophysical, and cognitive
- all are different levels of analysis but are still useful and interconnected
Physiological Method
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