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PSYC 100 (100)
Chapter 4

Chapter 4


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYC 100
Professor
Russell Day
Chapter
4

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PSYC 100 – SENSATION AND PERCEPTION
4
SENSORY PROCESSES
Synesthesia: Mixing of the senses
Sensation: Stimulus detection where sense organs translate to the brain
Perception: Giving meaning to what we sense
Psychophysics: Study of characteristics between stimuli and sensory capabilities
THRESHOLD DETECTIONS
Absolute Threshold: Lowest intensity which a stimulus can be detected 50% of the
time
Difference Threshold: Smallest difference between 2 stimuli that people can
perceive 50% of the time
Signal Detection Theory: Factors that influence sensory judgments
Decision Criterion: Standard of how present a stimulus must be before people can
detect it
Subliminal Stimulus: A weak stimulus received by the senses, but cannot be
perceived consciously
Webers Law: States: The difference threshold (jnd) is directly proportional to the
magnitude of the stimulus with which the comparison is being made, can be
expressed as Weber Fraction
Sensory Adaption: Diminishing sensitivity to an unchanging stimulus
The Sensory Systems
Transduction: Process where the characteristics of a stimulus are converted into
nerve impulses
Lens: Elastic structure which becomes thinner to focus on distant objects and thicker
to focus on nearby objects
Retina: Light sensitive tissue at the rear of eyeball
Myopia: Nearsightedness
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Psyc 100 Chapter 1
Hyperopia: Farsightedness
Rods: Detects dim lights and black and white
Cones: Detects colors and in bright illumination
Fovea: Small area in retina with no rods, but many densely packed cones
Optic Nerve sends signals from the eye to the brain
Visual Acuity: Ability to see fine detail
Photopigments: Translating light waves into nerve impulses through the action of
protein molecules
Dark Adaption: The progressive improvement in brightness sensitivity that occurs
over time under conditions of low illumination
Information from eye gets sent to the thalamus, which is a relay station of brain
Color Theory
Young-Helmholts Trichromatic Theory: There are 3 types of color receptors in the
retina (GRB)
Herings Opponent-Process Theory: Each of the 3 types of cones have 2 different
wavelength receptors in them
Dual-Process Theory: Combines both theories of Trichromatic and Opponent-
Process
Feature Detectors: Specific detectors for specific visual stimuli
The stimulus for vision is lightwaves or electromagnetic energy
Sound
Frequency: Number of sound waves per second or cycles per second (Pitch)
Hertz (Hz): Technical term for cycles per second (Frequencies under
4000hz are by impulse receptors, over 4000hz by fluid wave in the cochlear canal)
Amplitude: Vertical size of sound waves, Amount of compression and expansion of
molecules (Loudness)
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