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PSYCH 101 (308)
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Lecture

Sensation and Perception.docx

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYCH 101
Professor
prat
Semester
Spring

Description
 We “see” things that aren’t actually there all the time. Sensation VS Perception  Sensation: detection of physical energy from the environment and converting into a neural signal  i.e. light wave, sound wave, etc  Perception: selection, organization, and interpretation of sensory information  Our experience of that thing, how we understand it Bottom-Up Processing/Data-Driven Processing  Analysis of the stimulus begins with the sense receptors and works up to the level of the brain and mind Top-Down Processing  Information processing guided by higher-level mental processes as we construct perceptions, drawing on our experience and expectations  Nothing special about first and last letter, but rather brain narrows down possibilities  Only can be done with extensive reading training  Brain makes predictions so we don’t have to read every letter Psychophysics  A study of the relationship between physical characteristics of stimuli and our psychological experience with them Transduction  The first step in sensation. The transformation of physical energy (sights, sounds, smells) into neural impulses Absolute Threshold  Minimum stimulation needed to detect a particular stimulus 50% of the time Difference Threshold  Minimum difference a person can detect between 2 stimuli (50% of the time) also known as “just noticeable difference” JND.  Weber-Fechner Law states that JND varies proportionately with the intensity of the stimulus  i.e. 5 pound weight VS 10 pound weight compared to 100 pound weight & 105 pound weight much harder to tell. Sensory Adaptation  We lose sensitivity to constant stimulation  We are primarily sensitive to changes Sensory Integration  Flavor-taste & smell  Combination of taste AND smell  Example: McGurk Effect o Have a voice saying ba ba ba, face says da da da, combine in a way to produce ga ga ga Vision  The Stimulus Input: Light Energy  Electromagnetic spectrum  Very small part of the spectrum that is visible to humans Physical Characteristics of Light  Hue  Retina  The light-sensitive inner surface of the eye, containing receptor rods and cones in addition to layers of other neurons (bipolar, ganglion cells) that process visual information Photoreceptors  More rods than cones  When finding your seat in a darkened move theater you are most likely to use more rods than cones Feature Detection  Nerve cells in the visual cortex respond to specific features, such as edges, angles, and movement  “Maps” of the visual world  Light in one area and not in another = edge Shape Detection  Specific combinations of temporal lobe activity occur as people look at shoes, faces, chairs, and houses Visual Information Processing  Need to understand, motion, form, depth, as well as color  These are rapidly integrated  Processing of several aspects of the stimulus simultaneously is called parallel processing Visual Form Perception  Principles by which we determine what goes together: o Proximity o Similarity o Continuity o Connectedness Depth Perception  Gibson & Walk (1960) suggested that human infants (crawling age) have depth perception.  Even newborn animals show depth perception.  It is developed from a young age. Types of Depth Cues  Binoculur o Retinal disparity – images from the two eyes differ. The further away something is the more
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