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Chapter 50

PSYC 1010 Chapter Notes - Chapter 50: Detection Theory, Absolute Threshold, Sensory Neuron

Course Code
PSYC 1010

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Basic concepts of sensation and perception:
Processing sensation and perception:
o Process by which our sensory receptors and nervous system receive and represent stimulus
energies from our environment
Sensory receptors
o Sensory never endings that respond to stimuli
o Nervous system transmits that information to her brain
o Process of organizing and interpreting sensory information, enabling us to recognize
meaningful objects and events
Bottom up processing
o Starts at sensory receptors and works up to higher levels of processing
o Works up to the brain's integration of sensory information
o As the brain absorbs the information it enables the sensory systems to detect lines, angles,
colors, etc.
Top down processing:
o Processing guided by higher-level mental processes, as when we construct perceptions
drawing on our experience and expectations
o Interpret what your senses detect
All of our senses
o Receive sensory stimulation
o Transform that stimulation into neural impulses
o Deliver the neural information to our brain
o Conversion of one form of energy into another. In sensation, the transforming of stimulus
energies such as sights, sounds, smells into neural impulses our brain can interpret
o One form of energy into another form that out brain can use
o Study of relationships between the physical characteristics of stimuli, such as their intensity
and out psychological experience of them
o Relationship between the physical energy we can detect and its effects on our psychological
Absolute thresholds:
The minimum stimulus energy needed to detect a particular stimulus 50% of the time
Intensity in at which a person can detect a stimulus half the time
Signal detection theory
o Predicting how and when we detect the presence of a faint stimulus (signal) amid
background stimulation (noise). Assumes there is no single absolute threshold and that
detection depends partly on a person's experience, expectations, motivation and alertness
o When we will detect weak signals
o Below one's absolute threshold for conscious awareness
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