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Chapter 6

PSYCH 261 - Week 6 Textbook Notes (Modules 6.1-6.2)

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University of Waterloo
Daniel Smilek

PSYCH 261Physiological PsychologyModule 61 Visual CodingRene Descartes believed that the brains representation of a stimulus resembled the stimulusNot actually trueBrain encodes information in terms of which neurons respond the amount of response and the timing of their responsesLaw of specific nerve energies whatever excites a particular nerve establishes a kind of energy unique to that nerveThe amount of response depends on the frequency of firingThe Eye and Its Connections to the BrainLight enters the eye through the center of the iris called the pupil o Focused by the lens and cornea projected onto retina o Inversion of the image on the retinaMessages go from receptors at the back of the eye to bipolar cells in the center of the eye o Bipolar cells send messages to ganglion cells located closer to the center of the eye whose axons travel back to the brain o Amacrine cells receive information from bipolar cells and send it to other bipolar amacrine and ganglion cellsSome enable ganglion cells to respond specific to shapes movement facial features o Optic nerve is formed by ganglion cell axonsBlind spot is the location where it leaves at the back of the eye as there are no receptors thereAnything in the blind spot of one eye is visible to the otherBrain fills in blind spot so it is never noticed in lifeFovea specialized for acute detailed vision o Each receptor connects to a single bipolar cell which connects to a ganglion o Midget ganglion cells small respond to just a single cone provide 70 of input to the brain o Foveal vision has better acuity or sensitivity to detail while peripheral vision has better sensitivity to dim lightVisual Receptors Rods and ConesRods abundant in periphery of retina respond to faint light o Outnumber codes 201Cones abundant in fovea useful in bright light and colour vision o Provide 90 of the brains inputContain photopigments which release energy when struck by light
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