PSYC 1010 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Activation-Synthesis Hypothesis, Delta Wave, Theta Wave
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Chapter 5 Sample Questions
1. Psychologists differentiate between sensation and perception as stimulus detection and how we
understand this stimulus. Sensation is how stimulus by our sense organs, i.e., the eyes and ears, respond
to and translate stimuli from our environment to nerve impulses sent to be understood in the brain.
Perception is how our brain organizes these stimuli into our "reality."
2. Absolute threshold is the minimum required amount of mV so that a stimulus can be detected. An
example of absolute threshold would be the amount of pressure required to feel someone's touch.
3. Sensory adaption accounts for constant stimulus, decreasing sensitivity to these stimuli so that we can
detect other ones. Sensory adaption's survival value is great, as it allows us pick up informative changes
in our environment.
4. Fatigue, expectation, and potential significance are all examples of factors affecting signal detection.
Expectation is a factor of signal detection, as explained by the signal detection experiment (the warning
light test, with a tone that may or may not play). Participants become bolder or more conservative with
their answer if there were rewards or consequences for correct/incorrect responses.
5. Cones are densely packed within the fovea, which is in the centre of the retina, while rods are mainly
aren't the periphery. Visual acuity is due to the densely packing of the cones in the fovea, which then
send signals to a single bipolar cell. Rods are the primary white/black brightness receptors, while cones
are the colour receptors. They send messages to the bipolar cells, which then synapse with a layer of
ganglion cells. These ganglion cells axons are collected to form a optic nerve. After this the message is
sent to the brain, more specifically the higher visual centres.
6. Transduction is how nerve impulses are produced from stimuli. The rods and cones turn light waves
into impulses through proteins called photopigments. These molecules absorb light, create a chemical
reaction and that changes the rate of neurotransmitter at the receptor's synapse in the bipolar cell. The
greater the change equates to the stronger the signal that is passed on from the bipolar cell to the
ganglion to the axons that from the optic nerve.
7. According to frequency theory, from zero to one thousand hertz, pitch is detected by the number of
nerve impulses matching the frequency of the sound wave. However after one thousand hertz pitch is
detected by a specific point in the cochlea where fluid waves peak and bends the hair cells that send the
impulse to the brain, as explained by the place theory.
8. The two varieties of deafness are conduction and nerve deafness. Conduction deafness is caused by
problems inovling the mechanical system that transmits sound waves to the cochlea. For example a
punctured ear drum may reduce the ears capacity to transmit vibrations. Using a hearing aid would help
a person suffering from this type of deafness. However a hearing aid may not help one with nerve
deafness, as the source of the deafness is caused by damaged receptors. Not much can be done to help
with this type of deafness, but measures can be taken to prevent damage to those exposed to
hazardous noise in the workplace.
9. Bottom up processing is when an individual takes each separate component in a stimulus and
combines them to create a unified perception. Visual system acts in this way. Top down processing is
when sensory information is interpreted without pre existing knowledge, and accounts for many
psychological influences such as motives and expectations.
10. The first Gestalt law is similiarity, when objects of similar size and shape are grouped together for
example if there are 6 balls in total, and four are small and red while two are huge and green, then we
will group them red/small and green/huge. The second law is proximity, which is when two elements are
near each other they are grouped together. Closure is the third law of Gelstalt, which is when people
close open edges or gaps to identify the form or to "complete the figure." For example, a half circle is
called a half circle because we complete it and associate it with a circle, then approximate its value in
comparison. The last law is continuity, which is how we link elements together in a pattern that makes
Chapter 6 questions
1. The suprachiamatic neuron in the brain, acts as the biological clock. They link to the pineal gland
which releases melatonin, a hormone that relaxes the body and promotes sleep. During the day the
SCN's are active and reduces the amount of melatonin released in the body, at night they increase
2. During stage 1 sleep, your brain wave patterns on the EEG display more theta waves (4-8 cycles). With
periodic bursts of rapid brain-wave activity, stage 2 has begun(12-15). As we fall into stage 3 of the sleep
cycle, our brain waves slow once again and the brain wave patterns called delta patterns appear. (0.5 - 2
cycles per second). When delta waves dominate the EEG, then stage four sleep as been reached.
3. Rapid Eye movements, vivid storylike dreams quicken heart rate, brainwave activity similar to a
conscious person, inability to contract muscle are common characteristics of REM sleep.
4. Restoration function of sleep is that it helps replenish our rundown bodies and recover from daily
tolls. An experiment would be to time the amount of sleep an individual has each day over the course of
a week. Then increase the amount of physical activity they have for one week, then have them go back
to their original schedule, then increase their amount of physical activity even more than before for
another week, and see when the individual required more sleep. then repeat with multiple patients.
Evolutionary theory of sleep proposes that sleep increases a species chance of survival. Leaving our
shelter at night has little purpose to some species, other than to become prey for another species.
5. It may be vital for mental functioning, especially for processes related to learning and memory, and
the high level of brain activity may help to strengthen the neural circuits involved in remembering
6. Freud proposes that dreams are involved with wish fulfillment, accomplishing unacceptable urges and
desires. Activation synthesis theory states that neural activity sent from the brain stem during REM
sleep, not matching any external sensory events, create a dream that provides the "best fit" to the
patter of activation (this accounts for randomness). Problem solving dream models propose that dream
help us find solutions to problems. Cognitive dream theory proposes that as we age we are able to
dream, whereas kid cannot because our imagery and cognitive abilities are more developed.
7. Agonists increase neurotransmitter and brain activity, while agonists decrease activity. An example of
agonist would be cocaine, and it increases neurotransmitter activity by blocking dopamine and
norepinephrine reuptake. Amphetamines increase the level of these two as well. Alcohol lowers
neurotransmitter activity by increasing levels of GABA and decreasing level of glutamate, which further
decreases brain activity.
8. Tolerance relies on compensatory responses that adjust imbalances due to drug use, creating
homeostasis. Tolerance is the responsivity to a drug, and withdrawal is the compensatory response
occurrence after discontinued drug use.
9. Alcohol increases GABA levels (main inhibitor in the brain), decreases glutamate levels (an excitatory
neurotransmitter). These decrease brain activity. After an initial "high" after release of inhibition, they
become "down" after the depressant effect kicks in. Due to lowered inhibitions, the individuals become
riskier as they are only able to concentrate on aspects of situations that stand out.
10. Dissociation theories view hypnosis as an altered state involving division of consciousness.
1. Habituation is a decrease in the strength of response to a repeated stimulus. It may be the simplest
form of learning and occurs across species. It is a key adaptive function as you do not need to constantly
respond to pressure of clothing on skin, the sound of the ventilation system etc. By learning not to
respond to uneventful stimuli, organisms conserve energy and can focus on other things
2. Sensitization is an increase in the strength of response, and it would be desirable to sensitize yourself
to a repeated presentation so you can have an increased and much more appropriate response to the
same stimulus afterward.
3. To create a conditioned salivation response in a dog, one much identify the uncondition stimulus,
unconditioned response, and pair these with a conditioned response and stimulus. The unconditioned
stimulus for a dog to salivate is the presentation of food. Using forward pairing with a neutral stimulus,
the most optimal and effective type, to associate the presentation of food and another stimulus such as
a tone, the tone becomes a conditioned stimulus, and salivation becomes a condition response to this
4. Higher order conditioning happens when connecting a neutral stimulus with an already created
conditioned stimulus, allowing the second stimulus will also become a higher ordered stimulus. This
higher ordered stimulus is generally weaker than the original.