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Lecture 1

PS262 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Sensory Cue, Psychophysics, Neuroimaging

Course Code
Elizabeth Olds

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PS262 Lecture Topic 1
Introduction to Perception
- Why study perception?
o Get information about what is around you from your senses
Sed lots of ifo to ai heee oue aake
Humans are different from other animals
Ex. birds detect magnetic fields
All are important for survival
o Important to understand yourself
o Practical reasons
Design prosthetic devices (ex. earring aid)
Repair damaged sense organs
Build artificial realities
Design sensory environments
Make technology easier to use
You can only do these helpful things well if you understand how
perception works
- Perception is complicated
o Sietists haet ee ale to uild oputes that do ojet eogitio as
well as humans (ex. shadows affect it)
Ex. object identification is unconscious
Human sensory systems took a long time to develop
o Stimulus = a thing that impinges on your senses (ex. visual image)
o Sensory cue = a signal that can be extracted from sensory input
Indicates that state of some property in the world
Ex. recognize who someone is (auditory, visual, smell, etc.)
o Friend in crowd, wearing pink vs. hear voice
o Perceptual system uses a variety of cues
Integrating info from different sources
o Ou ailit to itegate ifo is a good thig eause the old is ois
Rarely get a pue stiulus to detet/idetif
Ex. object hidden behind another, talking while TV is on, driving
when foggy
o Need to actively interpret environment (not a passive receiver)
Integrate all sensory info together and with info from memory
o Sietists at always figure out which cues, in a complex scene, our
perceptions are based on
- How to study perception
o Involves many sciences
Physics (ex. hearing = how sound waves travel)
Anatomy/physiology (nervous system)
Info/computer science
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o The study of perception has allowed psych to grow from its philosophical roots
into an experimental science
But deep philosophical questions remain
o 3 methods (different levels of analysis)
- Physiological
o How are properties of objects in environment represented by activity in nervous
Relationships between stimulus and env.
o Neurons = units of processing
Relationship between nerve impulses and specific perceptions
Ex. object recognition and how?
Receptors = getting info from outside world
o Ex. visual = light energy light signals
Getting info from another neuron (dendrites)
Activity and interconnections
Firings, nerve impulses, action potentials
Chain of activity
Communication between neurons
Pre-synaptic (before gap)
Sapse ti spae etee euos; dot touh
Post-synaptic (after gap)
Using chemical signals (electrical within neuron)
o Sedig dugs euotasitte
o Can change the activity (more/less active)
Not 1-to-1 neuron (along how represented in photos)
Get input from many neurons
Each needs a lot of evidence to make a statement
Spontaneous activity level = resting rate of firing (without stimulation)
If iputs to a euo…
o Encourage activation, firing rate up above spontaneous
o Encourage inhibition, firing rate down below spontaneous
Firing rate, not strength of each action potential
Refractory period (wait small amount of time before going again; upper
limit on how many times per second a neuron can fire
Affects how auditory system can encode sound
This is how a message is sent
This is how one neuron communicates
o Overall issues
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