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Chapter 1

Sensation and Perception Psych 367 Chapter 1.docx

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Douglas Wylie

Chapter 1 introduction to perception The perceptual process - Perceptual process: is a sequence of processes that work together to determine our experience of and reaction to stimuli in the environment - Stimulus: what is out there in the environment - Electricity: electrical signals that are created by the receptors and transmitted to the brain - Experience and action: our goal – to perceive, recognize and react to the stimuli - Knowledge: knowledge we bring to the perceptual situation The stimulus Environmental stimuli and attended stimuli - Environmental stimulus: all the things in our environment that we can potentially perceive - Attended stimulus: when you focus on something, making if the center of attention The stimulus on the receptors - Focusing attention of a moth creates an image of the moth and its immediate surroundings onto the receptors of her retina (0.4mm thick network of light sensitive receptors and other neurons that line the back of the eye) - The moth has been transformed into an image, we can describe this image as a representation of the moth Electricity - Central principle of perception is that everything we perceive is based on electrical signals - Transduction: take energy from the environment and transform it into electrical signals Transduction - Is the transformation of one form of energy into another form of energy - Occurs in the nervous system when energy in the environment such as light energy is transformed into electrical energy Transmission - electrical signals activate neurons which in turn activate other neurons - Signal travel out of the eye and to the brain Processing - Neural processing: involves interactions between neurons - The signal that reaches the brain is transformed so that , although it represents the original stimulus, it is usually very different from the original Experience and action Perception - Perception: conscious sensory experience - Occur when the electrical signals that represent the moth are transformed by the brain into experience of seeing the moth recognition - recognition: our ability to place an object in a category that gives it meaning - perception and recognition together, are separate processes - visual form agnosia: inability to recognize objects that is caused by brain tumour action - action: motor activities such as moving head or eyes and locomotion through the environment - important for survival knowledge - knowledge: any information that the perceiver brings to a situation - it can effect a number of steps in the perceptual process - rat man demonstration: shows how knowledge influences perception - bottom up processing: processing based on incoming data o incoming data always provides a starting point for perception - top down processing: processing based on knowledge - as stimulus becomes more complex, top down processing becomes more important how to approach the study of perception - goal of perception research is to understand each of the steps in the perceptual process that lead to perception, recognition and action - psychophysics: use of quantitative methods to measure relationships between stimuli and perception o any measure of relationship between stimuli and perception - physiological: measuring relationship between stimuli and physiological processes and between physiological process and perception o often by measuring electrical responses in the nervous system - cognitive influence on perception o how the knowledge, memories, and expe
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