• How is the visual system organized hierarchically?
◦ By specificity and complexity
◦ As one moves from thalamus to primary visual cortex to secondary cortex to association
cortex, functionality becomes increasingly specific and complex
• What is the difference between sensation and perception?
◦ Sensation is the process of detecting the presence of stimuli via our sensory organs
◦ Perception is the higher order process of integrating sensory information into the logical,
unified whole that we typically experience.
• How has our understanding of sensory systems changed since the 1960's?
◦ Once thought to be hierarchical, homogenous, serial
◦ Now know that it is hierarchical, but functionally segregated and operating in parallel with
• Describe the general flow of sensation information through the brain.
◦ Begins with the receptor
◦ Travels to the thalamic relay center
◦ Travels to the primary sensory cortx
◦ Secondary sensory cortex
◦ Association cortex
• What is the binding problem? What is a proposed solution and criticism?
◦ The binding problem is the question of how we integrate all of our sensory experiences into
a single, unified whole
◦ One theory is that there is a single processing unit at the top of the hierarchy that combines
all sensory information into a single experience
◦ There is no single center of the brain, however, where all sensory outputs meet and there are
many pathways of the brain that descend through the sensory hierarchies as well as ascend.
◦ Perceptions must, therefor, be the combination of output from many cortical centers of the
brain without a single sensory junction point
• What are the amplitude, frequency and complexity of a sound?
◦ Volume, pitch and timbre/tone quality
• What is a Fournier analysis and how does it relate to audition?
◦ AFornier analysis is the breakdown of a complex sound into its component sine waves
◦ One theory of audition is that the brain breaks sound down into its component parts using a
process similar to a Fournier analysis
• What is the fundamental frequency? What is the fundamental frequency for a combination of
sounds at 200, 300 and 400 Hz?
◦ The fundamental frequency is the highest frequency of which all the components of the
sounds are multiples of
• Describe the neural route of sound information from the auditory nerve to the primary auditory
◦ Sound information travels from the auditory nerve to the cochlear nuclei and from there to
the superior olives on both sides of the brainstem
◦ Neurons in the superior olives project to the inferior colliculi in the tectum
◦ From the inferior colliculi, auditory information is passed to the primary thalamic relay
nuclei and then to the primary auditory cortex • What is the function of the lateral and medial superior olives?
◦ Localization of sound
◦ Medial superior olives detect differences in the arrival time of