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Monash University

Sensation Illusion  Perception in which the way we perceive a stimulus doesn’t match its physical reality Sensation  Detection of physical energy by sense organs, which then send information to the brain. Perception  The brains interpretation of raw sensory inputs Sensation allows us to pick up on signals in our environments and perception then allows us to assemble these signals into something meaningful! Transduction  First step in sensation is converting external energy into a language the nervous system understands Sense receptor  Specialized cell that is responsible for converting external substances into neural activity for a specific sensory system. Sensory adaption  Activation is greatest when a stimulus is first detected Psychophysics  The study of how we perceive sensory stimuli based on their physical characteristics.  2 types, qualitative method (description stimulus + recognise object) (used for brain injury)  Quantitative method (absolute threshold) Absolute threshold  Lowest level of a stimulus needed for the nervous system to detect a change of 50% of the time  Limit of perception  Demonstrate how remarkably sensitive our sensory systems are JND/Limen/Difference threshold  the smallest change in the intensity of a stimulus that we can detect  smallest difference between 2 stimuli a person can detect  ability to distinguish a stronger from a weaker noise Weber’s law  there is a constant proportional relationship between the JND and original stimulus intensity  the stronger the stimulus, the bigger the change needed for a change in stimulus intensity to be noticeable. Signal detection theory  theory regarding how stimuli are detected under different conditions  signal to noise ratio: harder to detect a signal as background noise increases. The McGurk effect  an illusion, where you perceive things differently depending on what part of sense is being used  EG: “ba” Synesthesia  A condition in which people experience cross modal sensations  Creating a sense when it is not there  Seeing letters and numbers as colours when they are not Parallel processing  The ability to attend to many sense modalities simultaneously  The way our mind multi tasks Bottom up processing  Processing in which a whole is constructed from parts  Starts with the raw stimuli we perceive and ends with our organizing them into meaningful concepts Top down processing  Conceptually driven processing influenced by beliefs and expectations  What we have seen before (Existing perception) Perceptual set  Set form when expectations influence perceptions  Example of top down processing Perceptual constancy  The process by which we perceive stimuli consistently across varied conditions  Seeing a door as a door Selective attention  Process of selecting one sensory channel and ignoring/ minimizing others.  Select one channel and turn off the others  In Reticular activating system (RAS) and forebrain in frontal cortex  Filtering stuff you are not interested in Inattentional blindness  Failure to detect stimuli that are in plain sight when our attention is focused elsewhere  EG: monkey Binding problem  Process by which separated signals are combined to create a unified perception  Attention is the glue that forms perception Hue  colour of light  colours of light: red, green, blue = mixed = white light Pupil  circular hole through which light enters the eye Cornea  part of the eye containing transporting cells that focus light on the retina  covers iris and pupil Lens  part of the eye that changes curvature to keep images in focus Accommodation  changing the shape of the lens to focus on objects near/ far  distance of object R
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