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Chapter 1

CHAPTER 1.docx

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Jeffery Jutai

CHAPTER 1Only your own sensory experience is directly accessible to youSensation the ability to detect a stimulus and to turn that detection into a private experiencePerception the act of giving meaning to those detected sensationsEverything we feel think and do depends on sensations and perceptionsreason why philosophers have talked about it for over 2 millenniath18 century French philosopher Etienne Bonnot de Condillac asked readers to imagine a statue with no senses thus no mental life Then he imagined adding the statues nose so the mental life would consist of only that smell By adding more senses and experience he imagined a real mental life developingResearchers studying topics in sensation and perception can be found in biology computer science medicine neuroscience and many other fieldsMETHOD 1 THRESHOLDSExample whats the faintestloudest sound you can hear You can change the threshold for the faintest sound if you listened to sounds that are too loud and damage your auditory systemMETHOD 2 SCALINGMEASURING PRIVATE EXPERIENCEQuale pl Qualia in philosophy a private conscious experience of sensation or perceptionWe still have no direct way to experience someone elses experiences but we can demonstrate that people inhabit different sensory worldsMETHOD 3 SIGNAL DETECTION THEORYMEASURING DIFFICULT DECISIONSa perceptual decision has real consequences Example if a radiologist screens a woman for breast cancer and the Xray shows sign of cancer but it isnt clear If the radiologist decides that its benign but its actually cancerous the patient will die If the radiologist decides it is cancerous and performs more tests and surgery but it wasnt cancerous there would be less severe consequences but there will be consequencesMETHOD 4 SENSORY NEUROSCIENCEsensory neuroscience explains how your perception of the world depends on the activity of our sensory nerves at least as much as it depends on the world itselfMETHOD 5 NeuroimagingAn Image of the MindSuppose you view 2 different images with each of your 2 eyes example a house and a face The result is an effect known as binocular rivalry the 2 images would vie to dominate your perception sometimes you see a house sometimes a face but youll never see the 2 togetherTHRESHOLDS AND THE DAWN OF PSYCHOPHYSICSGustav Fechner invented psychophysics is considered to be the true founder of experimental psychology but the title is usually given to Wilhelm WundtFechner suffered severe eye damage from gazing at the sun while performing vision experimentsDualism the mind has an existence separate from the material world of the bodyMaterialism the only things that exists is matter and all things including the mind and consciousness are the results of interaction between bits of matterMaterialists hold that the mind is not separateDualists hold the mind has an existence separate from material world of the body
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