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Chapter 1

PS262 - Chapter 1

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Elizabeth Olds

PS262 – Introduction to Perception – Chapter 1 Summary The Perceptual Process  Is a sequence of processes that work together to determine our experience of and reaction to stimuli in the environment  Stimulus refers to what is out there in the environment, what we actually pay attention to and what stimulates our receptors  Electricity refers to the electrical signals that are created by the receptors and transmitted to the brain  Experience and action refers to our goal – to perceive, recognize and react to the stimuli  Knowledge refers to knowledge that we bring to the perceptual situation The Stimulus  Exists both “out there” in the environment and within the person’s body  The environmental stimulus is all the things in our environment that we can potentially perceive  The attended stimulus changes from moment to moment, as we shift our attention Electricity  Transduction is the transformation of one form of energy into another form of energy o It occurs in the nerve system when energy in the environment (light energy, mechanical pressure or chemical energy) is transformed into electrical energy  Transmission is the electrical signals in the receptors activate other neurons which in turn activate more neurons…eventually these signals travel out of the eye and are transmitted into the brain *crucial step*  After transmission, they undergo neural processing which involves interactions between neurons o Ex// voice signals into a cell phone  The image you are looking at is changed into electrical signals in the receptors which is relayed through a series of neurons to the brain which transforms the signal into a perception of what you are viewing.  In the nervous system, the signal that reaches the brain is transformed, however it is a representation of the original stimulus, it is usually different from the original Experience and Action  Perception is conscious sensory experience; it occurs when the electrical signals that represent the image are transformed by our brain into the experience  Recognition is our ability to place an object in a category that gives it meaning o Visual form agnosia – an inability to recognize objects  The case of Dr. P; he had a brain tumor, he could perceive parts of an object but not the whole thing  Action includes motor activities such as moving the head or eyes and locomoting through the environment o Perception is a continuously changing process Knowledge  Is any information that the perceiver brings to a situation  Ability to categorize objects  Bottom up processing is processing that is based on incoming data o Incoming data always provide the starting point for perception because without incoming data there is no perception o Bottom up is essential for perception because the perceptual process usually begins with stimulation of the receptors o Ex// doctor’s prescription hand writing o However once the bottom-up data have triggered the sequence of steps, top-down processing can come into play as well  Top down processing refers to processing that is based on knowledge o As stimuli becomes more complex, the role of top-down processing increases How to Approach the Study of Perception  Two approaches: psychophysical approach and physiological approach o Psychological approach – involved psychophysics to refer to the use of quantitative methods to measure relationships between stimuli  Ex// asking an observer to decide whether two very similar patches of colour are the same or different o The physiological approach to perception involves measuring the relationship between stimuli and physiological processes and between physiological processes and perception  Ex// is measuring ho
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