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Chapter 3

PSY270H1 Chapter Notes - Chapter 3: Neuropsychology, Parietal Lobe, Temporal Lobe

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Susanne Ferber

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Jan 16, 2012, PSY270 chapter 3- Perception
Perception: experiences resulting from stimulation of the senses. Perceptions can change,
based on added information
Arriving at a perception can involve a process.
Bottom up processing: processing that begins with stimulation of the receptors. E.g. RBC
Recognition-by-components (RBC) theory: perceive objects by perceiving elementary
Geons: perceptual building blocks that can be combined to create objects
We can recognize an object if we are able to perceive just a few of its geons
Principle of componential recovery: recover an objects geons, we can identify the object
Top- down processing: processing that begins with a person’s prior knowledge or
expectations. Involved in our ability to recognize are obscured
Feedback signals: signals that travel down from higher centers to influence incoming signals
Perception of an object is based on signals representing the object plus signals representing
other aspects of the environment and feedback signals representing prior knowledge or
Perceptual system takes depth into account helps us more accurately perceive the size of the
faraway object
Perception system’s use of information about the creatures’ distance and their size relative to
the tracks illustrates how information in addition to the size of the image on the retina helps
determine the perception of their size
Size constancy: tend to perceive objects as remaining the same size even when they move to
different distances
Perception of the size of an object does not depend solely on the size of the objects image on
the receptors
Experiment: Robert Teghtsoonian (1978): asked participants in a lab situation to rate the
odor intensity of different odorants and found that participants gave almost identical ratings
for weak sniffs and strong sniffs
Speech segmentation: sound signal for speech is generally continuous, when there are
breaks in the sound, they do not necessarily occur between words. Based on knowledge of
the language, we are bale to tell when one word ends and the next one begins
Knowledge that a person brings to the situation can influence position
Theory of unconscious inference: Helmholtz: some of our perceptions are the result of
unconscious assumptions that we make about the environment. theory proposed to account
for our ability to create perceptions from stimulus information that can be seen in more than
one way
Likelihood principle: we perceive the object that is most likely to have caused the pattern of
stimuli we have received
Gesalt psychologist: perceptual organization: the way elements are grouped together to
create large objects
Laws of perceptual organization: indicates how elements in the environment are organized,
grouped together
Law of continuation: points that when connected, result in straight or smoothly curving
lines are seen as belonging together, the lines tend to be seen in such a way as to follow the
smoothest path. Objects that are overlapped by other objects as are perceived as continuing
behind the overlapping object. E.g. ropes
Predicts that what we perceive is based on what usually happens in the environment
Law of pragnanz/law of good figure/ law of simplicity: every stimulus pattern is seen in
such a way that the resulting structure is as simple as possible. E.g. Olympic symbol
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