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Chapter 5

PSYA01 chapter 5 notes

14 Pages
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Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYA01H3
Professor
Steve Joordens

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Psychology Chapter 5
Sensation
Sensory Behavior
Sensation the detection of the elementary properties of a stimulus
oi.e. brightness, colors, warmth, and sweetness
Perception the detection of the more complex properties of a stimulus, including its
location and nature; involves learning
oBoth inanimate and animate objects
I.e. Seeing the color red is sensation, seeing a red apple is perception
Sensory mechanisms visual, auditory, gustatory, olfactory, and somatosensory
systems
Transduction
Sense organs detect stimuli provided by light, sound, odor, taste, or mechanical
contact with the environment
oInformation about these stimuli is transmitted to the brain through neural
impulses
Action potentials carried by the axons in sensory nerves
Task of sense organs is to transmit signals to the brain that are coded in such a way
as to represent faithfully the events that have occurred in the environment
Task of the brain is to analyze this information and reconstruct what has occurred
Transduction the conversion of physical stimuli into changes in the activity of
receptor cells o sensory organs
oSense organs convert energy from environmental events into neural activity
Receptor cells release chemical transmitter substances that stimulate other neurons,
thus altering the rate of the firing of their axons
Receptor cell a neuron that directly responds to a physical stimulus, such as light,
vibrations, or aromatic molecules
www.notesolution.com
Somatosenses (body senses) dendrites of neurons respond directly to physical
stimuli without the intervention of specialized receptor cells
TABLE 5.1 PAGE 130
Sensory Coding
Action potentials are fixed in size and duration
oCant be altered
Different stimuli cannot be translated into different types of action potentials
Code system of symbols or signs representing information
Sensory system transmit information take two general forms
oAnatomical coding
oTemporal coding
Anatomical coding a means by which the nervous system represents information;
different features are coded by the activity of different neurons
oInterpret the location and type of sensory stimulus according to which
incoming nerve fibres are active
oSensory coding for the body surface is anatomical
Temporal coding a means by which the nervous system represents information;
different features are coded by the pattern of activity of neurons
oCoding in terms of time
orate
The firing of a particular set of neurons (an anatomical code) tells where the body is
being touched; the rate at which these neurons fire (a temporal code) tells how
intense that touch is
Psychophysics
Systematic study of the relation between the physical characteristics of stimuli and
the sensations they produce
oPhysics of the mind
www.notesolution.com
The Principle of the Just-Noticeable Difference
Ernst Weber anatomist and physiologist
oInvestigated the ability of humans to discriminate between various stimuli
ohe measured the just-noticeable difference (jnd)
smallest change in the magnitude of a stimulus that a person can
detect
JND is directly related to the magnitude of that stimulus
Weber fractions the ratio between a jnd and the magnitude of a stimulus;
reasonably constant over the middle range of most stimulus intensities
Gustav Fechner used jnd to measure peoples sensations
Each unit is a jnd
Graph
oX axis measures of physical intensity; something measured with respect to
the objective world
oY axis different
Amount of physical energy necessary to produce a jnd increases with the magnitude
of the stimulus
S = kIb; S. S. Stevens
oS –psychological magnitude of sensation
oK mathematical constant that adjusts for the way physical intensity is
measured
oI intensity
oB substantive difference
Signal Detection Theory
Threshold the point at which a stimulus, or a change in the value of a stimulus can
just be detected
Difference threshold an alternative name for jnd
www.notesolution.com

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Description
Psychology Chapter 5 Sensation Sensory Behavior Sensation the detection of the elementary properties of a stimulus o i.e. brightness, colors, warmth, and sweetness Perception the detection of the more complex properties of a stimulus, including its location and nature; involves learning o Both inanimate and animate objects I.e. Seeing the color red is sensation, seeing a red apple is perception Sensory mechanisms visual, auditory, gustatory, olfactory, and somatosensory systems Transduction Sense organs detect stimuli provided by light, sound, odor, taste, or mechanical contact with the environment o Information about these stimuli is transmitted to the brain through neural impulses Action potentials carried by the axons in sensory nerves Task of sense organs is to transmit signals to the brain that are coded in such a way as to represent faithfully the events that have occurred in the environment Task of the brain is to analyze this information and reconstruct what has occurred Transduction the conversion of physical stimuli into changes in the activity of receptor cells o sensory organs o Sense organs convert energy from environmental events into neural activity Receptor cells release chemical transmitter substances that stimulate other neurons, thus altering the rate of the firing of their axons Receptor cell a neuron that directly responds to a physical stimulus, such as light, vibrations, or aromatic molecules www.notesolution.com Somatosenses (body senses) dendrites of neurons respond directly to physical stimuli without the intervention of specialized receptor cells TABLE 5.1 PAGE 130 Sensory Coding Action potentials are fixed in size and duration o Cant be altered Different stimuli cannot be translated into different types of action potentials Code system of symbols or signs representing information Sensory system transmit information take two general forms o Anatomical coding o Temporal coding Anatomical coding a means by which the nervous system represents information; different features are coded by the activity of different neurons o Interpret the location and type of sensory stimulus according to which incoming nerve fibres are active o Sensory coding for the body surface is anatomical Temporal coding a means by which the nervous system represents information; different features are coded by the pattern of activity of neurons o Coding in terms of time o rate The firing of a particular set of neurons (an anatomical code) tells where the body is being touched; the rate at which these neurons fire (a temporal code) tells how intense that touch is Psychophysics Systematic study of the relation between the physical characteristics of stimuli and the sensations they produce o Physics of the mind www.notesolution.com
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