the process by which you detect physical energy from your environment and encode it as neural signals
the study of the relationship between physical energy and psychological experiences
a change in the environment that can be detected by sensory receptors
the weakest level of a stimulus that can be correctly detected at least half the time
signal detection theory
maintains that minimum threshold varies with fatugue, attention, expectations, motivation, emotional distress, and from one person to another
minimum difference between any two stimuli that a person can detect 50% of the time
just noticeable difference (jnd)
experience of the difference threshold
difference thresholds increase in proportion to size of the stimulus
receiving messages below one's absolute threshold for conscious awareness
transformation of stimulus energy to the electrochemical energy of neural impulses
the process of selecting, organizing, and interpreting sensations, enabling you to recognize meaningful objects and events
rays of light from an object pass from the object through your cornea, aqueous humor, pupil, lens, and vitreous humor before forming an image on your retina
transparent, curved layer in the front of the eye that bends incoming light rays
colored muscle surrounding the pupil that redgulates the size of the pupil opening
small adjustable opening in the iris that is smaller in bright light and larger in darkness
structure behind the pupil that changes shape, becoming more spherical or flatter to focus incoming rays into an image on the light-sensitive retina
process of changing the curvature of the lens to focus light rays on the retina
light-sensitive surface in the back of the eye containing rods and cones that transduce light energy. Also has layers of bipolar cells and ganglion cells that transmit visual information to the brain.
small area of the retina in the most direct line of sight where cones are most concentrated for highest visual acuity in bright light
modified neurons (rods and cones) that convert light energy to electrochemical neural impulses
photoreceptors that detect black, white, and gray and that detect movement. Rods are necessary for peripheral and dim-light vision when cones do not respond. Distributed throughout the retina, except none are in the fovea.
photoreceptors that detect color and fine detail in daylight or in bright-light conditions. Most concentrated at the fovea of the retina, none are in the periphery.
nerve formed by ganglion cell axons; carries the neural impulses from the eye to the thalamus of the brain.
ability to detect fine details, sharpness of vision. Can be affected by small distortions in the shape of the eye.
rays of light form a clear image on the retina of the eyes
to much curvature of the cornea and/or lens focuses images in front of the retina so nearby objects are seen more clearly than distant objects
too little curvature of the cornea and/or lens focuses the image behind the retina, so distant objects are seen more clearly than nearby objects
increased visual sensitivity that gradually develops when it gets dark
second layer of neurons in the retina that transmit impulses from rods and cones to ganglion cells
third layer of neurons in the retina, whose axons converge to form the optic nerve
region of the retina where the optic nerve leaves the eye so there are no receptor cells; creates an area with no vision
individual neurons in the primary visual cortex/occipital lobes that respond to specific features of a visual stimulus
simultaneously analyzing different elements of sensory information, such as color, brightness, shape, etc.
proposed mechanism for color vision with cones that are differentially sensitive to different wavelengths of light; each color you see results from a specific ratio of activation among the three types of receptors
proposed mechanism for color vision with opposing retinal processes for red-green, yellow-blue, white-black. Some retinal cells are stimulated by one of a pair and inhibited by the other.
temporary decrease in sensitivity to a stimulus that occurs when stimulation is unchanging
the set of processes from which you choose among various stimuli bombarding your senses at any instant, allowing some to be further processed by your senses and brain
the sense of hearing. The loudness of a sound is determined by the amplitude or height of a sound wave.
the number of complete wavelengths that pass a point in a given amount of time. Wavelength inversely proportional to frequency. Frequency or wavelength determines the hue of a light wave and the pitch of a sound
the highness or lowness of a sound. The shorter the wavelength, the higher the frequency, the higher the pitch. The longer the wavelength, the shorter the frequency, the lower the pitch.
the quality of a sound determined by the purity of a waveform. What makes a note of the same pitch and loudness sound different on different musical instruments
the process by which you determine the location of a sound.
pinna, auditory canal, eardrum
3 tiny bones: hammer, anvil, stirrup
cochlea, semicircular canals, vestibular sacs
snail-shaped fluid-filled tube in the inner ear with hair cells on the basilar membrane that transduce mechanical energy of vibrating molecules to the electrochemical energy of neural impulses. Hair cell movement triggers impulses in adjacent nerve fibers.
axons of neurons int he cochlea converge transmitting sound messages through the medulla, pons, and thalamus to the auditory cortex of the temporal lobes
the position on the basilar membrane at which waves reach their peak depends on the frequency of a tone. Accounts well for high-pitched sounds.
the rate of the neural impulses traveling up the auditory nerve matches the frequency of a tone, enabling you to sense its pitch. Accounts well for low-pitched sounds.
loss of hearing that results when the eardrum is punctured or any of the ossicles lose their ability to vibrate. A hearing aid may restore hearing.
nerve (sensorineural) deafness
loss of hearing that results from damage to the cochlea, hair cells, or auditory neurons. Cochlear implants may restore some hearing.
the skins sensations: touch/pressure, warmth, cold, pain
pain is experienced only if the pain messages can pass through a gate in the spinal cord on their route to the brain. The gate is opened by small nerve fibers that carry pain signals and closed by neural activity of larger nerve fibers, which conduct most other sensory signals or by information coming from the brain.
body sense that provides information about the position and movement of individual parts of your body with receptors in muscles, tendons, and joints
body sense of equilibrium with hairlike receptors in semicircular canals and vestibular sac in the inner ear
the chemical sense of taste with receptor cells in taste buds in fungiform papillae on the tongue, roof of mouth, in the throat. Molecules must dissolve to be sense. 5 basic taste sensations: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, umami/glutamate.
the interaction of taste and odor with contributions by temperature, texture, etc.
the chemical sense of smell with receptors in a mucous membrane (olfactory epithelium) on the roof of the nasal cavity. Molecules must reach the membrane and dissolve to be sensed. Olfactory receptors synapse immediately with neurons of the olfactory bulbs int he brain with no pathways to the thalamus
focused awareness of only a limited aspect of all you are capable of experiencing
information processing that begins with sensory receptors and works up the brain's integration of sensory information to construct perceptions; is data-driven
information processed guided by your preexisting knowledge or expectations to construct perceptions; is concept-driven
perceiving an object as unchanging even when the immediate sensation of the object changes
vision usually dominates when there is a conflict among senses. Gestalt psychologists recognized the importance of figure-ground in perception. They proposed organizing principles by which we perceive wholes rather than combinations of features including feature-ground, proximity, similarity, and continuity.
the ability to judge the distance of objects
clues about distance based on the image of one eye. Include interposition or overlap, relative size, aerial perspective or relative clarity, texture gradient, relative height or elevation, linear perspective, relative brightness, motion parallax, accomodation
clues about distance requiring two eyes. Include more important retinal disparity and convergence.
optical or visual illusions
discrepancies between the appearance of a visual stimulus and its physical reality. Common examples: reversible figures, illusory contours, Muller-Lyer illusion, Ponzo illusion, moon illusion
concepts or frameworks that organize and interpret information
ESP (extrasensory perception)
the controversial claim that perception can occur apart from sensory input
the study of paranormal events that investigates claims of ESP, including telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition, and telekinesis or psychokinesis