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Chapter 5

Chapter 5 Key Terms

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Psychology 1000

Chapter 5 Key Terms Absolute threshold: the lowest intensity at which a stimulus can be detected correctly 50% of the time Amplitude: the vertical size of the sound wave, which gives rise to the perception of loudness and is measured in terms of decibels Basilar membrane: a membrane that runs the length of the cochlea and contains the organ of Corti and its sound receptor hair cells Binocular cues: depth cues that require the use of both eyes Binocular disparity: the binocular depth cues produced by the projection of slightly different images of an object on the retinas of the two eyes Bipolar cells: the second layer of retinal cells with which the rods and cones synapse Bottom-up processing: perceptual processing that begins with the analysis of individual elements of the stimulus and works up to the brain’s integration of them into a unified perception Cochlea: a small coil-shaped structure of the inner ear that contains the receptors for sound Conduction deafness: hearing loss caused by damage to the mechanical system that conducts sound waves to the cochlea Cones: photorecetpors in the retina that function best in bright light and are differentially sensitive to red, green, or blue wavelengths’ the retina’s colour receptor Convergence: produced by feedback from the muscles that turns your eyes inward to view a near object Critical periods: a time period in which exposure to particular kinds of stimulation (e.g. perceptual) is required for normal development to occur Dark adaptation: the progressive increase in brightness sensitivity that occurs over time as photopigments regenerate themselves during exposure to low levels of illumination Decibels (db): a logarithmic measure of sound intensity Decision criterion: in signal detection theory, the potentially changing standard of how certain a person must be that a stimulus is present in order to report its presence Deprivation experiment: method of determining the critical periods during which certain experiences must occur for the related brain mechanisms to develop normally Difference threshold: the smallest difference between two stimuli that people can perceive 50% of the time Dual-process theory: the modern colour vision theory that posits cones that are sensitive to red, blue, and green, and opponent processes at the level of ganglion cells and beyond Endorphins: natural opiate-like substances that are involved in pain reduction Feature detectors: sensory neurons that respond to particular features of a stimulus, such as its shape, angle or colour Figure-ground relations: perceptual organization in which a focal stimulus is perceived as a figure against a background of other stimuli Fovea: a small area in the centre of the retina that contains only cones and in which visual acuity is greatest Frequency: in audition, the number of cycles per second in a sound wave, responsible for the pitch of the sound; the measure of frequency is the hertz (Hz), which equals one cycle per second Frequency theory: the theory of pitch perception that holds that the number of nerve impulses sent to the brain by the hair cells of the cochlea corresponds to the frequency of the sound wave; this theory is accurate at low frequencies Ganglion cells: the third layer of retinal cells with which the bipolar cells synapse and whose axons form the optic nerve Gate control theory: theory that proposes that the experience of pain results from the opening and closing of “gating mechanisms” in the nervous system Gestalt laws: the laws of perceptual organization advanced by the Gestalt psychologists – namely, similarity, proximity, closure, and continuity Gustation: the sense of taste Hertz (Hz): the measure of sound wave frequency as cycles per sound Hyperopia: a visual deficit sometimes called farsightedness in which the lens focuses the image behind the retina, reducing acuity for nearby objects Illusions: incorrect perceptions based on false perceptual hypotheses that often result from constancies that do not apply to the stimuli in question Inattentional blindness: the failure of unattended stimuli to register in consciousness Kinesthesis: the body sense that provides feedback on the position and movements of our body parts Lens: the transparent structure behind the pupil that changes its shape to focus images on the retina Menstrual synchrony: the tendency for some women who live together over time to become more similar to one another in the timing of their menstrual cycles Monocular cues: depth cues that require only one eye; include linear perspective, decreasing size, height in the horizontal plane, texture, clarity, light and shadow, motion parallax, and interposition Myopia: a vi
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