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Chapter 5

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Western University
Psychology 1000

Psychology Chapter 5 Review Notes Sensation and Perception  Synesthesia: “mixing of the senses” o i.e. sounds as colours or tastes as touch sensations  One theory is that the pruning of neural connections that occurs in infancy has not occurred in people with synesthesia, so that brain regions retain connections that are absent in most people  Another theory is that with synesthesia, there is a deficit in neural inhibitory processes in the brain that ordinarily keep input from one sensory modality from “overflowing” into other sensory areas and stimulating them  Sensation is the stimulus-detection process by which our sense organs respond to and translate environmental stimuli into nerve impulses that are sent to the brain  Perception: making “sense” of what our senses tell us – is the active process of organizing this stimulus input and giving it meaning Sensory Processes  Some species have different senses that human don’t have, it’s all due to adaptation to the environment  Transduction is the process whereby the characteristics of a stimulus are converted into nerve impulses  Five classic senses: vision, audition, touch, gustation (taste), and olfaction (smell)  Psychophysics: studies relations between the physical characteristics of stimuli and sensory capabilities, is concerned with two kinds of sensitivity Stimulus Detection: The Absolute Threshold  Absolute threshold: the lowest intensity at which a stimulus can be detected correctly 50% of the time o Lower the threshold, the greater the sensitivity Signal Detection Theory  Decision criterion; a standard of how certain they must be that a stimulus is present before they will say they detect it  Signal detection theory is concerned with the factors that influence sensory judgements  More conservative will result in a higher threshold The Difference Threshold  Difference threshold is defined as the smallest difference between two stimuli that people can perceive 50% of the time o Sometime called the just noticeable difference (jnd)  Weber’s law states that the difference threshold, or jnd, is directly proportional to the magnitude of th
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