chapter 5 notes from text
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-Sensation: how sense organs respond to external stimuli and transmit the
responses on the brain
-Perception: the processing, organization and interpretation of sensory signals that
result in an internal representation of the stimulus
-Transduction: a process by which sensory receptors produce neural impulses
when they receive physical or chemical stimulation
-Absolute Threshold: the minimum intensity of stimulation that must occur before
one can experience a sensation
-Difference Threshold: the minimum amount of change required in order to detect
a difference between intensities of stimuli.
-Sensory Adaptation: when an observers sensitivity to stimuli decreases over time
-Taste Buds: sensory receptors that transducer taste information
The study of sensation focuses on how our sense organs respond to and detect
external stimulus energy. Stimuli need to be transduced in order for the brain to
use that information. Sensory coding for quantitative factors, such as intensity and
loudness, depends on the number of neurons firing and how frequently they fire.
Qualitative aspects, such as color or bitterness, are coded by the integration of
activation across specific receptors. The development of psychophysical methods
allowed psychological scientists to study psychological reaction to physical
events. Psychophysical methods can be used to determine thresholds for detecting
events and for noticing change. These thresholds can be influenced by situational
factors and by biases in human judgment.
-Olfactory Bulb: the brain centre for smell, located below the frontal lobes
-Pheromones: chemicals released by animals and humans that trigger physiological
or behavioural reactions in other members of the same species
-Haptic Sense: the sense of touch
-Sound Wave: the patterns of the changes in air pressure through time that results
in the percept of a sound.
-Outer Ear: the structure of the ear at which sound waves arrive.
-Eardrum (tympanic membrane): a thin membrane, which sound waves vibrate,
that marks the beginning of the middle ear.
-Ossicles: three tiny bones, the malleus (hammer), incus (anvil), and stapes
(stirrup), in the middle ear that transfer the vibrations of the eardrum to the oval
-Cochlea (inner ear): a fluid-filled tube that curls into a snail like shape. The
cochlea contains the basilar membrane, which in turn contains auditory receptors
cells called hair cells. These transduce the mechanical energy of the sound wave
into neural impulses.
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