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Midterm 2 It's from the new psychology textbook!

Course Code
PSYC 1010
Rebecca Jubis
Study Guide

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Chapter 6
Sensation the process of the sensory receptors and nervous system receive and represent
stimulus energies
Perception organizing and interpreting sensory information, enabling us to recognize
meaningful objects and events
Bottom-up Processing analysis that begins with the sensory receptors and works up to the
brains integration of sensory information
Top-down Processing information processing guided by high-level mental processes, as when
we construct perceptions drawing on our experience and expectations
Psychophysics the study of relationships between the physical characteristics of stimuli, such
as their intensity, and our psychological experience of them
Absolute Threshold the minimum stimulation needed to detect a particular stimulus
Signal Detection Theory theory predicting how and when we detect the presence of a faint
stimulus (signal) amid background stimulation (noise)
Subliminal below one’s absolute threshold for conscious awareness
Priming the activation, often unconsciously, of certain associations, thus predisposing one’s
perception, memory, or response
Difference Threshold the minimum difference between two stimuli required for detection
50% of the time
Weber’s Law the principle that, to be perceived as different, two stimuli must differ by a
constant minimum percentage
Sensory Adaptation diminished sensitivity to constant or routine odours, sounds and touches
focuses our attention on informative changes in our environment
Transduction Transforms - conversion of one form of energy into another
Wavelength distance between the peaks of light or sound waves
Hue colour
Intensity amount of energy in light or sound wave
Pupil the opening in the centre of the eyes where light enters
Iris ring of muscle tissue that controls the size of the pupil opening

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Lens transparent structure behind the pupil that changes shape to focus image on the retina
Accommodation eye lens changes shape to focus near or far objects on the retina
Optic Nerve nerve that carries neural impulse from the eye to brain
Blind Spot no receptor cells are located here
Fovea central focal point in the retina
Feature Detectors nerve cells that respond to stimulus
Parallel Processing the processing of many aspects of a problem simultaneously; the brain’s
natural mode of information processing for many functions
Young-Helmholtz trichromatic (three-colour) theory the retina contains three different
color receptors one most sensitive to red, one to green, one to blue combined can produce
Opponent-Process Theory opposing retinal processes red-green, yellow-blue, and white-
Audition the sense or act of hearing
Frequency completed wavelengths
Pitch a tone’s highness or lowness
Middle Ear chamber between the eardrum and cochlea (hammer, anvil, and stirrup)
Cochlea sound waves trigger nerve impulses (coiled, bony, fluid filled tube in inner ear)
Inner Ear innermost part of the ear, containing the cochlea, semicircular canals and vestibular
Conduction Hearing Loss hearing loss caused by damage to the mechanical system that
conducts sounds waves to the cochlea
Sensorineural Hearing Loss hearing loss caused by damage to the cochlea`s receptor cells or
to the auditory nerves; nerve deafness
Cochlear Implant device for converting sounds into electrical signals and stimulating the
auditory nerve through electrodes threaded into the cochlea
Kinesthesis system for sensing the position and movement of individual body parts
Vestibular Sense sense of body movement and position, including the sense of balance

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Gate-Control Theory spinal cord contains a neurological “gate” that blocks pain signals or
allows them to pass on to the brain. The “gate” is opened by the activity of pain signals traveling
up small nerve fibres and is closed by activity in larger fibres or by information coming from the
Sensory Interaction the principle that one sense may influence another
Gestalt an organized whole
Figure-ground the organization of the visual field into objects (the figures) that stand out from
their surroundings (the ground)
Grouping - the perceptual tendency to organize stimuli into coherent groups
Proximity grouping nearby figures together
Similarity grouping similar figures together
Continuity continuous patterns rather than discontinuous ones
Connectedness uniformed and linked
Closure we fill in the gaps to create a complete whole object
Depth-Perception the ability to see objects in three dimensions although the images that strike
the retina are two-dimensions although the images that strike the retina are two-dimensional;
allows us to judge distance
Visual Cliff a laboratory device for testing depth perception in infants and young animals
Retinal Disparity a binocular cue for perceiving depth: by comparing images from the retinas
in the two eyes
Binocular Cues depth cues such as retinal disparity, that depend on the use of two eyes
Monocular Cues depth cues such as interposition and linear perspective available to either eye
Phi Phenomenon an illusion of movement created when two or more adjacent lights blink on
and off in quick succession
Perceptual Constancy perceiving objects as unchanging
Colour Constancy perceiving familiar objects as having consistent colour, even if changing
illumination alters the wavelength reflected by the object
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