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Notes from January 16th

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University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Lecture Notes 1/16/2014 • Common to all sensory/perceptual systems o Transduction: from physical to neural  Get from something in the environment to action potentials  Senses must convert physical stimulus energy into electrical changes in nerve receptor cells • Visual receptor cells: Rods and Cones o They respond to certain wavelengths of lights o Neural Coding  Code for things like pitch or loudness, color or brightness  Both qualitative and quantitative  Interactivity across time • What we perceive right now vs. past or future  Interactivity across space • Perception is affected by what’s around it: visual context  Bottom up vs. top down  The stimulus input must be processed and coded for intensity (i.e., strong smell vs. weak smell, bright vs. dim light, loud vs. soft sound) and qualitative aspects (e.g., red vs. blue, foul vs. pleasant, A flat vs. B sharp).  Most of this coding takes place post-receptor  Color coding happens at receptors  Neurons fire action potential • Rate of firing • Number of neurons firing • Which neurons are firing o Interactivity  In time: Color Adaptation • Affected by what comes before it and sometimes immediately after it  In space: contrast effects • Structure of the Visual System o Overview – Primary visual pathway.  The eye - Retina, photoreceptors, ganglion cells  The thalamus  Primary visual cortex  Two visual pathways: “What” vs. “Where” • Dorsal stream—the where • Ventral stream—the what o Distal Stimulus  Light is emitted from a light source and the light hits some distal stimulus (a tree, a car, your BFF).  Some frequencies of light are absorbed by the distal stimulus. Other frequencies of light are reflected off the distal stimulus.  Some of this reflected light reaches your eyes.  Creates proximal stimulus on retina • Functional differences between rods and cones o Cones  allow us to see in bright light  allow us to see fine spatial detail  allow us to see different colors o Rods  allow us to see in dim light  can not see fine spatial detail  can n
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