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Chapter 4

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PSY 102
Niusha Ghazban

thCPCS102Tuesday May 20 Chapter 4 Sensation and Perception How We Sense and Conceptualize the World Diagrams from Lectures 13 are posted on BlackBoardOverviewOverviewSensation vs PerceptionThe Visual System1The Big PictureBrian Borowski has been blind since birth and has navigated using a sonar systemsending out a sound and waiting for the bounce back like batsHelen Kellerdoctors diagnosed her with acute congestion of the stomach and the brain which rendered her deaf and blind When she was around 6 years old her first tutormentor stayed with her and Keller went on to become an advocate video on Helen Keller Anne Sullivan her mentor explains how Helen Keller learned to communicated Helen placed her thumb on the throat forefinger on the lips the third finger on the nose and learned the soundsWhat we experience in our mind vsWhat is really happening in our bodies brainOur sensory and perceptual and cognitive systems are complex and sophisticated and automaticWe typically do not notice much or any of what theyre doingBut whats the cost What we perceive is only our brains best attempt to reflect what is actually out there eg subjective thresholds of pain Remember were talking about processes that function the same way in almost every average personExcept for people with genetic variation illness brain damage or expertsThe research tasks demonstrations illusions etcare not tests to assess peoples performanceor tricks designed to fool people but reveals how a sensoryperceptual process works correctly most of the timeThese issues have been the subject of human debate for thousands of years and THIS is the stuff thththat some philosophers in the 18 and 19 centuries were thinking about especially Immanuel Kant and David HumeSome scholars decided to focus on empirical research beyond just thinking about it especially Hermann Helmholtz and Gustav Fechner Over 150 years later its a cornerstone of psychology2 Principles of Stimulus Detection Sensation vs PerceptionSensation Detection of physical energy by the sensory organs eg tactile vision any sensesInvolves transduction the process of translating external stimuli into the language of the brain Action potential Raw Bottomup processing information that we pick up from external world making a stable interpretation Perception Brains interpretation of the sensory organ input the realization or conclusionHigher order Topdown processing that involve memory previous experience expectations context and other factorsIf you expect to see something you will probably see it Many optical illusions play on this fact Parallel processing We use the combination of the two processes to experience realityTransduction translating the input is differently for each of the 5 senses but commonly1Each sense has sensory receptorsspecialized cells your eyes have specific cells to pick up certain lights images etc whereas your ears have special hair cells that vibrate to a certain frequency2Changes in neuron firingrates depend on the strength of stimulieg visual stimuli when things glow there is a lower firing of neutrons but more rapid firing for bright
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