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PS101 Chapter 6- Sensation and Perception

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Mindi Foster

Chapter 6—Sensation and Perception Detection of physical energy and its interpretation How we sense, generally:  Process: o Sense receptor ,  Picks up physical energy. it could be a sound wave, a light wave, or a smell. o Sensory neuron/nerves,  Send the information to the brain for interpretation o Brain  Different sensations o Doctrine of specific nerve energies  Says we have different anatomy for different sensations.  Anatomical coding: thalamus sends the information along different pathways o Sensory Crossover (synesthesia)  Too many connections in your brain and things collide.  One sense evokes another. (e.g. 7 = red)  Too many connections have haven’t been pruned.  But can’t explain differences within a sensation o Functional coding  When some cells fire, and some don’t.  It is the pattern of firing that provides the distinctions.  Anatomical coding can’t explain the differences within a sensation, but functional coding can. Sensory Adaptation (getting used to a sensation) After prolonged exposure to a sensation, neurons fire less frequently and sensitivity goes down. o Exceptions:  Intensity Your sensitivity is not going to decrease for strong smells, temperature, and pain  Vision Location of the image on your retina is every-changing so neurons don’t fatigue 1  Selective Attention (focus of attention of some aspects and blocking out of others) o Inattentional blindness is a result of selective attention (lack of attention to). Measuring Sensation  Absolute threshold: smallest amount of energy that can detect 50% of the time.  Just noticeable difference: smallest detectable difference between two stimuli  Signal detection theory (signal detection involves both sensation and decision)  Argues that how much we sense is not only about how much physical energy is there, but also by their motivation and biases.  People who get hits or false alarms: yes men Yes men= people who say that something is there, when it really isn’t. Do you see it? And you reply yes, it is a hit.  Do you see it? And you reply yes but there isn’t anything there but they think they see it, it is a false alarm.  Nay-Sayers: people who say no because they don’t see anything. o Uses a formula to account for people’s motivation to accurately judge their thresholds. 2 Vision Sensation: light waves Perception: hue (colour/length of the light wave), brightness (the height of the wave), saturation (the pureness of colour). How we see: 1. The presentation of the light wave goes through the CORNEA. a. It is there to protect the rest of the eye, and the light enters through it. 2. The second place that light goes through id the PUPIL and the IRIS a. Iris: the colour of the eye b. The black dot in the middle that contracts or dilates dependingon how much light is in the
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