PSY100Y5 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Theta Wave, Delta Wave, Slow-Wave Sleep
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L0101 M2-4 Test 2 2007
1. What is the difference between sensation and perception? [2 marks]
- Sensation is the stimulation of sensory organs by energy in the environment, whereas perception
is the selection, organization, and subjective interpretation of sensory input.
2. What is an absolute threshold? [2 marks]
- An absolute threshold is the minimum amount of energy needed for a specific sensory system to
detect a stimulus in the environment 50% of the time.
3. Describe the main visual pathway in the brain. [3 marks]
- Neural impulses travel from the eye along the optic nerve and down the optic tract to the
thalamus, which then sends the messages to the Lateral Geniculate Nucleus (LGN). Visual
information is sent from the LGN to the primary visual cortex. Here the main pathway splits in two
directions to the “what” and “where” pathways.
4. What are the three classes of human skin receptors? [3 marks]
–Touch: physical contact of objects with the skin
–Temperature of objects
–Pain: destruction of skin tissue
5. Describe the types of brain waves found during the five different stages of sleep. [5
Stage 1: theta waves
Stage 2: theta waves with K complexes and spindles
Stage 3: mostly theta and delta waves (slow wave sleep) appear
Stage 4: mostly delta waves
REM: beta waves present and brain waves resemble waking activity
6. What is the name of the sleep disorder characterized by vivid, fear-evoking dreams
that occur during REM sleep? [1 mark]
6. Describe the Stroop task and state which part of a subject’s brain is most activated
while performing this task. [4 marks]
- subjects are asked to identify the color of a word. The words are names of colors other than the
actual color of the word e.g., R-E-D written in green color
- the right brain dominant color detection areas of the brain receive interference from the language
processing areas of the brain dominant in the left hemisphere and it thus takes longer to identify
- this task is associated with activation of the dorso-lateral pre-frontal cortex
8. Describe the process of classical conditioning using an example from your own life. [4
- Pair an unconditioned stimulus [meat powder] that elicits an unconditioned response [salivation]
with a neutral stimulus [a bell tone] over a period of several trials. Eventually, the neutral stimulus
[bell tone] will become a conditioned stimulus, as it alone will elicit a conditioned response
[salivation] the same or similar to the unconditioned response.
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9. Explain and give examples for positive and negative reinforcement. [4 marks]
- Negative reinforcement is when a negative or aversive stimulus is taken away by some behavior
thereby strengthening the tendency for that behavior to occur again. An example is taking an
aspirin to reduce a headache will increase the likelihood of future aspirin taking. Positive
reinforcement is when a positive or pleasant stimulus follows some behavior and strengthens the
tendency of that behavior to occur again. An example is when a child does her homework she gets
praise from her mother or gets a gold star from her teacher increasing the likelihood of doing
homework again in the future.
10. Define and give an example of escape learning. [2 marks]
- this is a form of negative reinforcement where you escape a feared or unpleasant stimulus
and when you get away you feel so much better
L0201 T 2-4 Test 2 2007
1. Give a definition for, and an example of, sensation. [2 marks]
- Sensation is the stimulation of sensory organs by energy sources in the environment. An example
would be light particles being captured in the retina of the eye or differences in air pressure being
detected by the ossicles in the ear.
2. What is a Just Noticeable Difference? [1 mark]
- A JND is the smallest difference in the amount of stimulation that a specific sense can detect.
3. Explain how light is converted into electrochemical impulses in the brain. [3
- Light travels through the pupil to the retina where it contacts the photoreceptors (rods and cones)
and bleaches a pigment in the photoreceptors, which creates graded receptor potentials that
eventually lead (through bipolar and amacrine cells) to action potentials in the ganglion cells.
4. Explain the Young-Hemholtz (tri-chromatic) theory of color vision and provide two
examples of phenomena that could not be explained by this theory. [4 marks]
- The human eye has three types of receptors with differing sensitivities to different light
wavelengths (red, green, and blue). This theory does not account for why afterimages of objects
that are stared at, are seen in complimentary colors. It also does not account for why dichromats
have trouble distinguishing either red from green or blue from yellow. [It does not account for why
people prefer to use four colours (red, green, blue, and yellow) to describe different color shades.]
5. Brain waves that occur when we are relaxed and calm are called _____________
waves. [1 mark]
6. Identify and explain three ideas of the functional significance of the unconscious. [3
- Unconscious processes are rapid and efficient, so we can act without having to consciously think
and analyze the situation. Also, unconscious processes can operate simultaneously with conscious
processes so we can do more than one thing at a time, e.g., think about psychology while driving a
car. Finally, the unconscious will operate in the absence of consciousness, such as when we are
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7. What is the name of the sleep disorder characterized by episodes of intense panic and
at what stage of sleep are they usually found? [2 mark]
- Night Terrors, during slow wave delta sleep (stage 4)
8. Explain the Cognitive view of dreaming. [4 marks]
- The Cognitive view believes that dreams are constructed from the daily issues faced by the
dreamer and that much of what we dream about is simply processing the information that we have
attended to throughout the day. This view does not see dreams as particularly insightful or
meaningful, rather, dreams are simply a way to clean out the brain’s memory storage units to make
room for new information to be processed the next day. [I will accept the Problem-solving view of
dreams here also]
9. Explain how a conditioned taste aversion develops and state why it is unique from
other types of classical conditioning. [4 marks]
- If someone gets viral gastroenteritis or “stomach flu” [the unconditioned stimulus] and becomes
violently ill [the unconditioned response], a food that was eaten that day can become associated
with being ill [unconditioned response] such that the specific food becomes a conditioned stimulus
for feeling ill [conditioned response]. Taste aversions are unique in that it requires only one pairing
of the CS and UCS, taste aversions are extremely difficult to condition to stimuli other than orally
ingested substances (biological preparedness or signal relations), and the UCR can follow the CS
by up to many hours later.
10. What is observational learning? [2 marks]
- Observational learning occurs when an organism’s responding is influenced by the observation of
others, who are called models. Essentially, it involves being conditioned indirectly by virtue of
observing another’s conditioning.
11. Explain the difference between fixed ratio and variable interval reinforcement
schedules. Which works best and explain why? [4 marks]
- In a fixed ratio schedule an organism is reinforced at a constant rate, such as every third response
or every fifth response. In a variable interval schedule a different amount of time passes before
each reinforcer, such as after 2 minutes, then after 1 min., then after 3 min. (average 2 min). In
general, ratio schedules produce more rapid responding, however, variable schedules produce
steadier rates of responding and greater resistance to extinction.
L6001 M 6-8 Test 2 2007
1. Give a definition and an example of perception. [2 marks]
- Perception is the selection, organization, and subjective interpretation of sensory input. An
example would be looking at a picture and perceiving what the picture is about and what it means
or hearing a sound and perceiving it to be the telephone ringing, meaning someone is calling you.
2. Describe the location and function of the two types of photoreceptor cells? [2 marks]
•Cones: found in center of retina (fovea) and are sensitive to fine detail and color
•Rods: found in periphery of retina and are sensitive to movement but not fine detail (better for
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