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Chapter 12

PSYB51H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 12: Retina, Angular Acceleration, Afferent Nerve Fiber

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Matthias Niemeier

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Ch. 12- Spatial Orientation and the Vestibular System
vestibular organs/system= set of five specialized organs- three semicircular canals and two
otolith organs- located in each inner ear that sense head motion and head orientation with
respect to gravity. Make a predominant contribution to our sense of tilt and our sense of self-
sixth sense= contributes to clear vision when we move and helps us maintain balance when
we stand
appeared early in evolutionary history and have remained relatively unchanged=
largely automatic system- vestibular perception is often relegated to the attentional
background, and may responses evoked by the system are felexive
spatial orientation= a sense consisting of three interacting sensory modalities, the senses of
linear motion, angular motion and tilt (our sense of tilt and self motion).
Dizzines (nonspecifically indicates any form or perveiced spatial disorientation with or without
instability), spatial disorientation (any impairment of spaital orientation. More specifically,
any impairment of our sense of linear motion, angular motion or tilt), imabalnce (lack of
balance; unsteadiness; falling over), blurred vision, illusory self-motion= promotes awareness
of our vestibular sensations
vestibular system= reflexively rotates eyeballs in the sockets to compensate for head rotation=
helps stabilize images on the retina
compensate for head movement more readily than hand movement because of vestibulo-ocular
often don't perceive your head rotating because vestibular system performs its job automatically
Modalities and Qualities of Spatial Orientation
sense of spatial orientation is based on three sensory modalities:
angular motion= rotational motion like the rotation of a spinning top/swinging saloon
doors that rotate back and forth
linear motion= translational motion like the predominant movement of a train car/
bobblehead doll
tilt= attaining a sloping position like that of the leaning tower of Pisa
modalities like senses NOT qualities because energy is transduced (coverted from one
form to another)
color and brightness are different interpretations of the same light= qualities
seeing and hearing involve different types of stimulation energy= light and pressure
waves= modalities
perceiving angular motion, linear motion and tilt= requires three different kinds of
stimulation energy to be sense- angular acceleration, linear acceleration, gravity=
Sensing Angular Motion, Linear Motion and Tilt
sensed b y two types of vestibular sense organs: semicircular canals and otolith organs
semicircular canals= any of three toroidal tubes in the vestibular system that sense
otolith organs= either of two mechanical structures (utricle and saccule) in the vestibular
system that sense both linear acceleration (change in linear velocity) and gravity
predominant contribution to sense of linear motion (sense of translation) and sense of
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