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PSYCH 101 (332)

Module 4 Notes.docx

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Stephanie Denison

Module 4: Sensation and Perception (4.1) Sensation and Perception at a Glance Sensation – Process of detecting external events by sense organs and turning them into neural signals Perception – Involves attending to, organizing, and interpreting stimuli that we sense Sensory Receptors – Structures that respond to external stimuli Transduction – Process in which physical or chemical stimulation is converted into nerve impulse that is relayed to the brain Sensory Adaptation – Reduction of activity in sensory receptors with repeated exposure to a stimulus Sense Stimuli Type of Receptor Vision Light Waves Light-sensitive structures at back of eye Hearing Sound Waves Hair cells that respond to pressure change in the ear Touch Pressure/Stretching/Piercing of the skin Different types of nerve endings that surface respond to pressure, temp changes, and pain Taste Chemicals on the tongue and mouth Cells lining the taste buds of tongue Smell Chemicals contacting mucus-lined Nerve endings that respond selectively to membranes of the nose different compounds Steps of sensation to perception: Stimulus -> Sensory Receptors -> (Transduction) -> Neural Impulses -> Perception Psychophysics – Field of study that explores how physical energy such as light and sound and their intensity related to psychological experience Absolute Threshold – Minimum amount of energy/quantity of stimulus needed for it to be dependably detected at least 50% of the time it’s presented Difference Threshold – Smallest detectable difference between stimuli Signal Detection Theory – States whether a stimulus is perceived depends on both sensory experience and judgment made by the subject Gestalt Psychology – Approach to perception that emphasizes “the whole is greater than the sum of its part” Top-Down Processing – Occurs when prior knowledge and expectations guide what is perceived Bottom-Up Processing – Constructing a whole stimulus/concept from parts of raw sensory info Parallel Processing – Refers to simultaneous use of top-down and bottom-up processing as we perceive and interpret the world Inattentional Blindness – Failure to notice clear visible events or objects because attention is directed elsewhere (4.2) Visual System Light – Radiation that occupies relatively narrow band of electromagnetic spectrum; travel in waves varying in two properties (length and amplitude) Wavelength – Distance between peaks of wave (Long = Reddish; Short = Bluish) Sclera – White, outer surface of eye Cornea – Clear layer that covers front portion of the eye and contributes to eye’s ability to focus; light enters through cornea and passes through pupil Pupil – Regulated amount of light that enters by changing its size; dilates to allow more light to enter and constricts to allow less light into eye Iris –
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