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PSYC 1000U
Kimberly Clow

CHAPTER 6 Sensation and Perceptionprosopagnosiaface blindness Cant recognize faces eg Heather Sellers walks past acquaintances not because she is snobby or aloof but because she has prosopagnosia She can recognize people by their hair gait voice or physique but not by their face th area on underside of brains right hemisphere recognize a human face in 17 of a second Damage to this areaprosopagnosia Sensing The World Some Basic Principlesperceptionprocess or organizinginterpreting sensory information enabling us to recognize meaningful objectseventsbottomup processingsensory analysis that start at entry level sensory receptorswork up to higher levels of processing to brain integration of sensory informationtopdown processingminds also interpret what our senses detect We construct perceptions drawing both on sensations coming bottomup to brainon our experienceexpectations Absolute Thresholdspsychophysicsstudy of relationships between physical characteristics of stimuli such as their intensityour psychological experience of themabsolute thresholdminimum stimulation needed to detect a particular stimulus 50 of time eg hearing specialist test your absolute threshold for sounds by exposing each ear to varying sound levels absolute threshold vary with age Sensitivity to highpitch sounds decline with age older ears need louder sound to hear a highpitched cellphone ring Signal Detection Theorydetecting a weak stimulus depends not only on signals strength but also on our psychological statesignal detection theorya theory predicting how and when we detect presence of faint stimulus signal amid background stimulation noise Assumes there is no single absolute threshold and that detection depends partly on a persons experience expectations motivations and level of fatigue Subliminal Stimulationsubliminalbelow ones absolute threshold for conscious awarenesswithout our awareness these stimuli have extraordinary suggestive powers eg masked by soothing ocean sounds unheard messages I am thing smoke is bad I do well on testsprimingactivation often unconsciously of certain association thus predisposing ones perception memory or response This shows much of our information processing occurs automatically out of sight off radar screen of our conscious mind Difference Thresholdsalso called just noticeable difference jind is minimum difference between two stimuli required for detection 50 of time We experience difference threshold as a just noticeable difference or jindeg add 1 ounce to 10 ounce weight you will detect difference if 1 ounce is added to a 100 ounce weight difference may not be detectedWebers Lawthe principle that to be perceived as different two stimuli must differ by a constant minimum percentage rather than a constant amounteg for a person to detect difference 2 lights must be differ in intensity by 8 Two objects must differ in weight by 2 And 2 tones must differ in frequency by only 03 Sensory Adaptationsensory adaptationdiminished sensitivity as a consequence of constant stimulationalthough sensory adaptation reduces our sensitivity it offers an important benefit freedom to focus on informative changes in our environment without being distracted by constant chatter of uninformative background stimulationour sensory receptors are alert to noveltyfundamental lesson we perceive world not exactly as it is but as it is useful for us to perceive it Visiontransduction transformconversion of one form of energy into another In sensation transforming of stimulus energies such as sights sounds and smells into neural impulses our brains can interpret The Stimulus Input Light Energyelectromagnetic spectrum ranges from imperceptibly short waves of gamma rays to narrow band we sees as visible light to long waves of radio transmission and AC circuitstwo physical characteristics of light help determine our sensory experience of them o wavelengthdistance from peak of one light or sound to peak of next Electromagnetic wavelengths vary from short blips of cosmic rays to long pulses of radio transmission o wavelength determines its hue color we experience such as blue or green
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