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Chapter 4.1

PSYCH101 Chapter Notes - Chapter 4.1: Inattentional Blindness, Detection Theory, Gustav Fechner

Course Code
Richard Ennis

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4.1 - Sensation and Perception at a Glance
January 26, 2018
9:17 AM
Sensing the World Around Us
Sensation - the process of detecting external events by sense organs and turning those
stimuli into neural signals
Perception - attending to, organizing, and interpreting stimuli that we sense
Transduction - when specialized receptors transform physical energy of the outside world
into neural impulses
Type of Receptor
Light waves
Light-sensitive structures at back of eye
Sound waves
Hair cells that respond to pressure changes in
Pressure, stretching, or piercing
of the skin surface
Different types of nerve endings that respond
to pressure, temperature changes, and pain
Chemicals on the tongue and in
the mouth
Cells lining the taste buds of the tongue
Chemical contacting mucus-
lined membranes of the nose
Nerve endings that respond selectively to
different compounds
Doctrine of specific nerve energies - idea first proposed by Johannes Muller; states that
different senses are separated in the brain
Sensory adaptation - the reduction of activity in sensory receptors with repeated exposure
to stimulus
Stimulus Thresholds
Psychophysics - coined by William Gustav Fechner; the field of study that explores how
physical energy such as light and sound and their
intensity relate to psychological experience
Absolute threshold - the minimum amount of energy/quantity of a stimulus required for it
be reliably detected at least 50% of the time it is
Difference threshold - the smallest different between stimuli that can be reliably detect at
least 50% of the time
Signal Detection
Signal detection theory - states that whether a stimulus is perceived depends on both
sensory experience and judgment made by the subject
sensory process - stimulus or not stimulus
decision process - report whether or not a stimulus was actually presented
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