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Psychology 1000
Laura Fazakas- De Hoog

Psychology exam review: Chapter 5 Definitions: Absolute threshold: The lowest intensity at which a stimulus can be detected 50% of the time Amplitude: The vertical size of a sound wave, which gives rise to the perception of loudness and is measured in terms of decibels (logarithmic) Basilar membrane: A membrane that runs the length of the cochlea and contains the Organ of Corti and its sound receptor hair cells Binocular cues: Depth cues that require the use of both eyes Binocular disparity:The binocular depth cues produced by the projection of slightly different images of an object on the retinas of both eyes Bipolar cells:The second layer of retinal cells with which the rods and cones synapse Bottom-up processing: Perceptual processing that begins with the analysis of individual elements of the stimulus and works up to the brains integration off them into a unified perception Cochlea: A small coil-shaped structure of the inner ear that contains the receptors for sound Conduction deafness: Hearing loss caused by damage to the mechanical system that conducts sound waves to the cochlea (bones of the inner ear) Cones: Photoreceptors in the retina that function best in bright light and are differentially sensitive to red, green, or blue wavelengths; the retinas colour receptors Convergence: A binocular distance cue produced by feedback from the muscles that turn your eyes inward to view a near object Critical periods:A time period in which exposure to particular kinds of stimulation (perceptual) is required for normal development to occur Dark adaption: The progressive increase in brightness sensitivity that occurs over time as photopigments regenerate themselves during exposure to low levels of illumination Decibels: A logarithmic measure of sound intensity (volume) Decision criterion: In signal detection theory, the potentially changing standard of how certain a person must be that a stimulus is present in order to report its presence Deprivation experiment: Method of determining the critical periods during which certain experiences must occur for the related brain mechanisms to develop normally Difference threshold: The smallest difference between two stimuli that people can perceive 50% of the time Dual-process theory: The modern colour vision theory that posits cones that are sensitive to red, blue, and green, and opponent processes at the level of the ganglion cells and beyond Endorphins: Natural opiate-like substances that are involved in pain reduction Feature detectors: Sensory neurons that respond to particular features of a stimulus, such as its shape, angle, or colour Feature-ground relations: Perceptual organization in which a focal stimulus is perceived as a figure against a background of other stimuli Fovea: A small area in the centre of the retina that contains only cones and in which visual acuity is greatest Frequency: In audition, the number of cycles per second in a sound wave, responsible for the pitch of the sound; the measure of frequency is the Hertz (Hz), which equals one cycle per second Frequency theory: The theory of pitch perception that holds that the number of nerve impulses sent to the brain by the hair cells of the cochlea corresponds to the frequency of the sound wave; this theory is accurate at low frequencies (<1000 Hz) Ganglion cells: The third layer of retinal cells with which the bipolar cells synapse and whose axons form the optic nerve Gate control theory: Theory that proposes that the experience of pain results from the opening and closing of gating mechanisms in the nervous system Gestalt laws: The laws of perceptual organization advanced by the Gestalt psychologists namely, similarity, proximity, closure, and continuity Gustation: The sense of taste Hertz: The measure of sound wave frequency as cycles per second Hyperopia: A visual deficit sometimes called farsightedness in which the lens focuses the image behind the retina, reducing accuracy for nearby objects Illusions:Incorrect perceptions based on false perceptual hypotheses that often result from constancies that do not apply to the stimuli in question Inattentional blindness: The failure of unattended stimuli to register in consciousness Kinesthesis: The body sense that provides feedback on the position and movements of our body parts Lens: The transparent structure behind the pupil that changes its shape to focus images on the retina Menstrual synchrony: The tendency for some women who live together over time to become more similar to one another in the timing of their menstrual cycles Monocular cues: Depth cues that require only one eye; include linear perspective, decreasing size, height in the horizontal plane, texture, clarity, light and shadow, motion parallax, and interposition Myopia: A visual defect, sometimes called nearsightedness, in which the lens focuses distant images in front of the retina rather than on it, reducing accuracy for distant objects Nerve deafness: Hearing loss caused by damage to the cochlear receptor cells or the auditory nerve Olfaction: The sense of smell Olfactory bulb: A forebrain structure immediately above the nasal cavity Opponent-process theory: The theory proposed by Hering that the retina contains three sets of colour receptors that respond differentially to red-green, blue-yellow, and black-white; the result can produce a perception of any hue Optic nerve: A bundle of ganglion cell axons in the retina that transmits visual information to the brain Organ of Corti: Structure imbedded in the basilar membrane that contains the hair receptors for sound Parallel processing: Our ability to use our senses to take in a variety of information about an object and construct a unified image of its properties Perception: The process of organizing stimulus input and giving it meaning Perceptual constancies: The ability to recognize stimulus characteristics size, colour, and so on under varying conditions Perceptual schemas: Internal representations that contain the essential features of an object of perception Perceptual set: A readiness to perceive stimuli in a particular way Pheromones: Chemical signals found in natural body scents Photopigments: Protein molecules within the rods and cones whose chemical reactions when absorbing light result in nerve impulses being generated Place theory: The theory of pitch perception that holds that sound frequencies are coded in terms of the portion of the basilar membrane where the fluid wave in the cochlea peaks; this theory accounts for perception of frequencies above 1,000 Hz Primary visual cortex: The area of the occipital lobe which receives impulses generated from the retina via the thalamus and analyzes visual input by using its feature detectors Psychophysics: The study of relations between the physical characteristics of stimuli and the sensory experiences they evoke Retina: The light-sensitive back surface of the eye that contains the visual receptors Rods: Visual receptors that function under low levels of illumination and do not give rise to colour sensations (black & white) Sensation: The process by which stimuli are detected, transduced into nerve impulses, and sent to the brain Sensory adaptation: Diminishing sensitivity to an unchanging stimulus with the passage of time as sensory neurons habituate to the stimulation Sensory prosthetic devices: Devices that provide sensory input that can, to some extent, substitute for what blind and deaf people are not supplied by their sensory receptors Shadowing: An experimental procedure used in attention research in which a person simultaneously receives two or more messages, is asked to focus on one of them, and then is asked to report on the other messages as well Signal detection theory: A theory that assumes that stimulus detection is not based on a fixed absolute threshold but rather is affected by rewards, punishments, expectations, and motivational factors Stroboscopic movement: Illusory movement produced when a light is briefly flashed in darkness and the, a few milliseconds later, another light is flashed nearby (appears as if the light is moving) Subliminal stimulus: A stimulus that is received by the senses but not perceived consciously Synesthesia: A condition in which stimuli are experienced not only in the normal sensory modality, but others as well Taste buds: The receptors for taste in the tongue and in the roof and back of the mouth that are sensitive to the qualities of sweet, sour, salty, and bitter
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