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Chapter 4

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University of British Columbia
PSYC 101
Bobby Fokidis

Chapter 4 - Common forms of synesthesia: seeing colors evoked by sound or seeing letters in specific colors - Order of registering information: stimulus energysensory receptors (eyes,ears,nose)Neural impulsesBrain(perception using visual, auditory areas) - Gustav Fechner developed psychophysics: methods that measure the strength of a stimulus and the observer’s sensitivity to that stimulus (psycho-perception; physics- stimulus) - Absolute threshold is the stimulus intensity that one can just barely detect - Ernst Weber was the one who noticed the JND, inspiring Fechner to create the Weber’s Law: the just noticeable difference of a stimulus is a constant proportion despite variations in intensity - JND for weight is approx. 2-3% and has no fixed quantity - An approach to psychophysics, signal detection theory: the response of a stimulus depends both on a person’s sensitivity to the stimulus in the presence of noise and on a person’s decision criterion (yes, I see it or no, I do not see it) - Signal detection theory purposes a way to measure perceptual sensitivity - Vision - Nearsighted=myopia farsighted=hyperopia - Retina- photosensitive: 3 layers= Ganglion cells, bipolar cells, and photoreceptors - Two types of photoreceptor cells in retina contain light-sensitive pigments that transduce light into neural impulses: Cones & Rods - Rods are distributed across retina EXCEPT fovea and there are more (120 million) while cones (6 million) are focused on center of fovea and sparsely distributed (peripheral vision unclear) - Retinal ganglion cell (RGC), bipolar cells, and cone patch form the receptive field - Receptive fields contain 2 zones used to detect edges that define shapes of objects/highlights boundaries esp. in low light situation: 1. On center cell- a central excitatory zone surrounded by a doughnut shaped inhibitory zone (light in excitatory elicits strongest response) 2. Off center cell- central inhibitory zone surrounded by an excitatory zone (light in inhibitory elicits weak response) - Sir Isaac newton pointed out that color is our perception of wavelengths using our cones (red=long, green=medium, blue=short) - Trichromatic Theory: Thomas Young & Hermann von Helmholtz- Color vision is composed of three cone types: red, blue, and green; without the one or two cones causes a color deficiency (genetic disorder) referred to as color blindness (men more than women; sex linked inheritance) o Monochrome colorblindness- either no cones or have cones that do not work o Red-green color blindness- either red or green cones are not working - Just like sensory adaptations, cones take breaks too= color afterimage and causes blue- yellow to look like yellow blue, referred to as color-opponent system - Opponent Process Theory: Edwald Hering- Four primary colors with the cones arranged in pairs: red and green, blue and yellow - Thalamus receives inputs from all senses EXCEPT smell - Optic nerve travels to the lateral geniculate nucleus in the thalamus - Visual signals travels to the brain called area V1, where it is systematically mapped into a representation of the visual scene - Feature detector cells in the visual cortex respond to specific elements or dimensions of an image Modular View: - What pathway: ventral stream from occipital to lower levels of temporal (shape and identity) - Where pathway: Dorsal stream up from occipital to parietal lobes (identify location and motion) o Brain damage of these: Visual-Form Agnosia - Illusory conjunctions occur when features from separate objects are mistakenly combined. According to feature integration theory, attention provides the “glue” necessary to bind features together. The parietal lobe is important for attention and contributes to feature binding, both in normal and synesthetic perception - Brain is holistic and has a tendency to self-organize in a predictable =Gestalt psychology= Perceptual Grouping Rules; theory of the Berlin School: o Simplicity- when confronted with two+ interpretations of objects shape, visual system chooses simplest interpretation o Closure- complete figures that are incomplete o Similarity- Regions are similar in color, lightness, shape, or texture, are perceived to belong as same object o Proximity- Objects that are close are grouped together o Continuity- continuous pattern rather than with a complex, broken up pattern o Contiguity- two things that happen close together in time as being related o Common fate: elements of a visual image that move together are perceived as parts of a single moving object - Phi Phenomenon: neon lights flashing in succession can give impression that light is moving - Edgar Rubin pointed out the tendency to perceive objects as existing on a background w/ the Rubin Vase/Reversible figure-ground relationship - Object recognition- using image-based (template; inefficient) or part-based (combine parts into one; can recognize face but cant distinguish between two different faces) - If you take part-based approach to object recognition, you would suggest that you can identify objects based on their components, called geons - Damage to parietal lobe=display illusory conjunctions How To Perceive Depth? 1. Monocular Cues- based on one eye only; pictorial depth cues (uses relative size/familiar size) a. Linear perspective, texture gradient, interposition, aerial perspective, motion parallax 2. Binocular Cues- two eyes used to perceive depth through binocular disparity; discussed by Sir Charles Wheatstone - Ames Room constructed by Adelbert Ames: trapezoidal and gives the illusion that one person is bigger than the other - Change blindness test: Levin & Simmons showed participants movie which used two different actors for same role, but 2/3 did not notice the change - Inattentional blindness test: Simons & Chabris told participants to count number of times ball passed between two players while a gorilla would come in and beat his chest; over half of the participants failed to register the gorilla Sound - Striking a tuning fork produces a pure tone- simple sound wave that first increases air pressure and then creates a relative vacuum - Three physical dimensions of a sound wave: frequency, amplitude, complexity; frequency provides MOST info to identify sounds - Outer ear collects sound wavesfunnels toward middle eartransmits the vibrations to inner ear, embedded in the skull transduced into neural impulses - When sound waves hit the eardrum, it vibrates
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