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Chapter 2

Chapter 2

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PSYC 2390
Lana Trick

1PSYC 2390 Sensation and Perception Chapter 2 Introduction to the Physiology of Perception Introduction to the Physiology of Perception Stimuli first in the environment and then on the receptors create electrical signals in the nervous system These signals are transformed into experiences of the senses This chapter focuses on the physiological approach to understanding the connection between electrical signals in the nervous system and perception Brief History of the Physiological Approach Early focus was on determining the anatomical structures involved in the operation of the mind Early Hypotheses about the seat of the mindAristotle 384322 BCthe heart was the seat of the mind and soulGalen AD 13200saw human health thoughts and emotions as beingdetermined by 4 different spirits flowing from the ventriclescavities in the center of the brainDesecrates 1600sstill accepted the idea of the flowing spirits but specified the pineal gland which was thought to be located above the ventricles as the seat of the soulThe brain as the seat of the mindThomas Willis physician dissected the brains of humans dogs sheep and other animals and concluded that the brain was responsible for mental functions that different functions were located in different regions of the brain and that disorders of the brain were disorders of chemistry Willis conclusions were correct but details of the mechanisms involved were unknown Signals Travelling in NeuronsIn the 1800s there were 2 opposing ideas about the nervous systemReticular Theoryheld that the nervous consisted of a large network of fused cellsNeuron Theorystated that the nervous system consisted of distinct elements or cellsGolgideveloped the staining technique which made it possible to see the structure of the entire neuronthis technique lead to the acceptance of the neuron theory and won Golgi a Nobel Prize By the late 1800s research had shown that a wave of electricity is transmitted to groups of neuronsDoctrine of Specific Nerve Energiesproposed by Johannes Mueller to explain how electrical signals result in different perceptions stated that perceptions depend on nerve energies reaching the brain and that the specific quality experienced depend on which nerves were stimulated
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