Intro to Psych Chapter 4.docx

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Rebecca Nappa

Chapter 4 Sensation The origins of knowlegde Where does knowledge come from?  directly from the world around us.  from our ears, eyes, and other senses collecting what the world is providing The passive perciever John Locke: 17th century phiospher. argued that at birth, the human mind is much like blan tabet (a tabula rasa). Distal stimulus: an objec event in the outside world. proximal stimulus: energies from the outside world that directly reach our sense organs. visual perspective: a cue used to convey depth in many paintings. the active perciever person supplements the sensory imput with associations and percevier must categorize and interpret incoming sensory info Immanuel Kant: german philosopher, 1724-1804,  argued that perception is possible only because the mind organizes the sensory info into certain preexisting categories.  we have a grasp of certain spatial relationships. o we understand what it means for one thing to be next to or far from another thing.  innate grasp of temopral relationships: for one thing to occur before or after, and what it means for one event to cause another.  basic understanding of space, time, and causality brings order to our perception: without this framework, Kant agrues that our sensory experience would be chaotic or meaningless. psychophysics psychophysic: an approach to perception that relates the characteristics of physical stimuli to the sensory experiences they produce. Sensory threshold absolute threshold: the smallest quantity of a stimulus that an individual can detect. difference threshold: the smallest amount that given a stimulus must be increased or decreased so that an individual can detect the difference. just-noticeable difference JND: the smallest difference that an organism can reliably detect between two stimuli. Weber's Law: the observation that the size of the difference threshold is proportional to the intensity of the standard stimulus. Fechner's Law: the observation that the strenght of a sensation is proportional to the logarithm of physical stimulus intensity. Detection and decision perceptual sensitivity: an organisms ability to detect a signal. decision criteria: an organisms rule for how much evidence it needs before responding. signal dection procedures signal detection theory: the theory that percieving or not percieving a stimulus is actually a judgement about whether a momentary sensory experience is due to the background noise alone or to the background noise plus a signal. payoff matrix: the pattern of benefits and costs associated with certain types of repsonses. a survery of the senses sensory coding transduction: the process through which a physical stimulus is converted into a signal within the nervous system. sensory coding: the process through which the nervous system represents the qualities of the incoming stimulus, whether auditory or visual for examply or whether a red light or a green one a sour taste or a sweet taste/ psychological intensity: difference between a bright light and a dim one, or a subtle scent in contrast to a dense cloud of smell. sensory quality: how the nervous system represents the difference between vision and hearing. or within a modality, how it represents the difference between a high pitched note and a low one specificity theory: the proposal that different sensory qualities are signaled by different quality specific neurons. this theory is only correct in a few cases. pattern theory: the proposal that different sensory qualities are encoded by specific patterns of firing among the relevant neurons. sensory adaptation sensory adaptation: the process by which the sensivity to a stimulus declines if the stimulus is presented for an extended period of time. the vestibular sense kinethesis: sensations generated by receptors in the muscles, tends, and joints that inform us of our skeletal movement. vestibular sense: sensations generated by receptors in the semicircular canals of the inner ear that inform us about the heads orientation and movements. skin senses skin senses: group of senses including pressure, warmth, cold and pain through which we gain info about our immediate surroundings. pain nociceptors: receptors in the skin that give rise to the sense of pain, they respond to various forms of tissue damage and to temperature extremes. gate control theory: the proposal that pain sensations must pass through a neural gate in order to reach the brain and can be blocked at that gate by neurons that inhibit signals from the nociceptors. smell olfactory epithelium: a mucous membran at the top of the nasal cavity,
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