the process by which our sensory receptors and nervous system receive and represent stimulus energies from our environment
Specialized cells that convert physical energy in the environment or body to electrical energy that can be transmitted as nerve impulses to the brain
Organs that receive stimuli.
bottom up processing
analysis that begins with the sensory receptors and works up to the brain's integration of sensory information
the process of organizing and interpreting sensory information, enabling us to recognize meaningful objects and events
assessing sensory information based on previous experience or expectations.
conversion of one form of energy into another. In sensation, the transforming of stimulus energies, such as sights, sounds, and smells, into neural impulses our brains can interpret. (Myers Psychology 8e p. 204)
doctrine of specific nerve energies
the principle that different sensory modalities exist because signals received by the sense organs stimulate different nerve pathways leading to different areas of the brain.
The study of relationships between the physical characteristics of stimuli, such as their intensity, and our psychological experience of them.
the minimum stimulation needed to detect a particular stimulus 50 percent of the time
signal detection theory
a theory 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 detection depends partly on a person's experience, expectations, motivation, and level of fatigue. (Myers Psychology 8e p. 199)
just noticeable difference
The smallest difference that can be detected between two physical stimuli.
principle that the just noticeable diffference of a stimulus is a constant proportion despite variations
diminished sensitivity as a consequence of constant stimulation
the absence of normal levels of sensory stimulation.
Experiencing too much stimuli at once.
the focusing of conscious awareness on a particular stimulus, as in the cocktail party effect
intensity of reflected light that reaches our eyes
chromatic purity: freedom from dilution with white and hence vividness of hue
transparent anterior portion of the outer covering of the eye
the transparent structure behind the pupil that changes shape to help focus images on the retina
the process by which the eye's lens changes shape to focus near or far objects on the retina
muscular diaphragm that controls the size of the pupil
the adjustable opening in the center of the eye through which light enters
the light-sensitive membrane covering the back wall of the eyeball
the central focal point in the retina, around which the eye's cones cluster
retinal receptors that detect black, white, and gray; necessary for peripheral and twilight vision, when cones don't respond
retinal receptor cells that are concentrated near the center of the retina and that function in daylight or in well-lit conditions. The cones detect fine detail and give rise to color sensations.
the process by which visual receptors become as sharp as they can in darkness. both rods and cones adjust but ultimately rods are more effective in darkness
eye neurons that receive information from the retinal cells and distribute information to the ganglion cells
the specialized cells which lie behind the bipolar cells whose axons form the optic nerve which takes the information to the brain
nerve responsible for carrying impulses for the sense of sight from the retina to the brain
the point where the optic nerve enters the retina
nerve cells in the brain that respond to specific features of the stimulus, such as shape, angle, or movement
sharpness of vision
a condition in which nearby objects are seen more clearly than distant objects because distant objects focus in front of the retina
a condition in which faraway objects are seen more clearly than near objects because the image of near objects is focused behind the retina
the processing of several aspects of a problem simultaneously; the brain's natural mode of information processing for many functions, including vision
Visual theory, stated by Young and Helmholtz that all colors can be made by mixing the three basic colors: red, green, and blue; a.k.a the Young-Helmholtz theory.
the representation of colours by the rate of firing of two types of neurons; red/green and yellow/blue
negative after image
the image seen after a portion of the retina is exposed to an intense visual stimulus
inability to perceive certain colors, such as red and green
the ability to hear
the human perception of how much energy a sound wave carries
the property of sound that varies with variation in the frequency of vibration
(music) the distinctive property of a complex sound (a voice or noise or musical sound)
tightly stretched membrane located at the end of the ear canal that vibrates when struck by sound waves
a coiled, bony, fluid-filled tube in the inner ear through which sound waves trigger nerve impulses
The cellular membrane in which the hair cells are embedded. It moves in respose to pressure waves in the cochlea, initiating a chain of events that results in a nerve impulse traveling to the brain
a composite sensory nerve supplying the hair cells of the vestibular organ and the hair cells of the cochlea
in hearing, the theory that links the pitch we hear with the place where the cochlea's membrane is stimulated
in hearing, the theory that the rate of nerve impulses traveling up the auditory nerve matches the frequency of a tone, thus enabling us to sense its pitch
hearing loss due to problems with the bones of the middle ear
hearing loss caused by damage to the cochlea's receptor cells or to the auditory nerve
sense of taste
sense receptors in the tongue that respond to sweet, salty, sour, bitter, umami, and perhaps fat
the principle that one sense may influence another, as when the smell of food influences its taste
the sense of smell
airborne hormones released by one individual and taken in by another, usually of the same species, and affects new host
The idea that there is a "valve" in the spinal cord which when open allows pain messages to get to the brain and when closed prohibits these messages from reaching the brain.
sense of balance and of one's physical position
a sensory system located in structures of the inner ear that registers the orientation of the head
the structures in the ear that are responsible for your sense of balance
an organized whole - psychologists emphasized our tendency to integrate pieces of info into meaningful wholes
a Gestalt principle of organization holding that (other things being equal) objects or events that are near to one another (in space or time) are perceived as belonging together as a unit
a Gestalt principle of organization holding that there is an innate tendency to perceive incomplete objects as complete and to close or fill gaps and to perceive asymmetric stimuli as symmetric
gestalt law; sensations that appear to create a continuous form are perceived as belonging together (a whole)
gestalt law; elements that are connected by other elements tend to grouped together
depth cues, such as retinal disparity and convergence, that depend on the use of two eyes.
distance cues, such as linear perspective and overlap, available to either eye alone
a binocular cue for perceiving depth; by comparing images from the two eyeballs, the brain computes distance - the greater the disparity (difference) between the two images, the close the object
monocular visual cue in which two objects are in the same line of vision and one patially conceals the other, indicating that the first object concealed is further away
a monocular cue for perceiving depth; the more parallel lines converge, the greater their perceived distance
a depth cue whereby larger objects are perceived as closer than smaller ones
relative clarity(texture gradient)
a monocular cue for perceiving depth; hazy objects are farther away than sharp, clear objects
a monocular cue for perceiving depth; objects higher in our field of vision are perceived as farther away
The perception of an observer that, as the observer moves forward, the objects that appear to him/her to move backwards faster are closer than apparently slower-moving objects; a monocular cue.
even though different images are being considered the same even though size on retina was changed
apparent communication from one mind to another without using sensory perceptions
apparent power to perceive things that are not present to the senses
knowledge of an event before it occurs
the study of paranormal phenomena, including ESP and psychokinesis
The ability to move objects with one's mind.
Demonstrates our readiness to percieve in a particular manner; Based on experience and expectation; Audio perceptual sets (Aerosmith song: "Dude looks like a lady," people hear "Do the lucky lady")