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Perception - Making Sense of Sensation Notes.docx

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PSY 1071
Joel Sheffield

Kate Sydnes Psychology as a Natural Science October 4, 2011 Perception: Making Sense of Sensation I. How to Solve the Problem of Perception a. Goal of perception: allow us to gain knowledge of our environment and help us guide our actions b. The problem: for any given patter of stimulation received by your senses, there are a multitude of possible interpretations II. Why is Perception such a hard problem? a. Figure-ground segregation i. Figure: the object of interest ii. Ground: the background iii.Sometimes these two things can be ambiguous! b. The “inverse problem” i. The need to extract 3-D information from a 2-D image ii. A2-D image can translate into infinite 3-D realities III. Gestalt Grouping Principles a. Help us organize/interpret visual information! b. Proximity i. Enables us to group what we see according to closeness, visual stimuli are close together are grouped together c. Similarity i. If the distances between elements are the same, the ones that are physically similar will be grouped together d. Uniform Connectedness i. Elements are perceived as a single unit if they are connected to each other ii. This principle can overrule the proximity and similarity principles e. Good Continuation i. Elements that appear to follow the same direction are grouped together (direction can be a straight line or a curve) f. Closure i. The enclosure of complete figures occurs even though the stimuli are incomplete g. Symmetry i. The perception of the more natural, balanced, and symmetrical figure as the same unit h. Common Fate i. Elements moving in the same direction moving at the same rate are grouped together IV. Depth Cues a. Pictorial (monocular) cues, “One eye” i. Linear perspective 1. Parallel lines facing the observer converge as they move away, toward the horizon ii. Interposition/Occulusion 1. Something being covered iii.Relative size 1. The size of an image depends on the size of the object (of course) as well as its distance from the viewer. This is especially obvious when viewing a regular, repetitive pattern; see such a texture gradient iv. Position relative to horizon v. Relative clarity vi. Texture gradient 1. Things getting smaller and smaller as you go down the horizon line vii. Shadow 1. Our visual system usually assumes lighting comes from above. The shape of a surface (convex or concave) and hence the pattern of depth along its surface- is affected by shading *Other depth cues rely on both eyes (binocular) or on motion b. Binocular cues i. Convergence 1. To look at an object closer by, the eyes rotate “toward each other” ii. Divergence 1. Objects focused on that are farther away cause the eyes to rotate “away from each other” iii.Perception of distance 1. Eyes separated by 2-3 inches 2. Each receives somewhat of a different image a. 2-D images on retina – fused into 3-D image in the brain V. Visual Illusions a. Illusion i. Aperceptual experience conflicting with another experience about the same object ii. Can occur for many reasons 1. Perception (the interpretation of the world from sensory inputs) takes place at many different levels, can be fooled or break down in many ways iii. Windows into the work that perception does iv. Converging lines provide a depth cue, but experience tells us that more distant objects can only create the same sized image as nearer if it is
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