Meyers Chapter 5

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40 terms · For beh sci 110

What three steps are basic to all our sensory systems?

1. Receive sensory stimulation, often using specialized receptor cells
2. Transform that stimulation into neural impulses
3. Deliver the neural information to your brain

Sensation

The process by which our sensory receptors and nervous system take in stimulus energies from our environment.

Perception

The process by which our brain organizes and interupts sensory information, transforming it into meaningful objects and events.

Transduction

Changing one form of energy into another. In sensation, the transforming of stimulus energies, such as sights, sounds, and smells, into neural impulses our brain can interpret.

Absolute Threshold

The minimum stimulation needed to detect a particular stimulus 50% of the time.

Subliminal

Below our absolute threshold for conscious awareness.

Priming

Activating, often unconsciously, associations in our mind, thus setting us up to perceive or remember objects or events in certain ways.

Difference Threshold

The minimum difference between two stimuli required for detection 50% of the time. We experience the difference threshold as a just noticable difference (or jnd).

Weber's Law

The principle that, to be perceived as different, two stimuli must differ by a constant minimum proportion (rather than a constant amount).

Sensory Adaptation

Reduced sensitivity in response to constant stimulation.

Perceptual Set

A mental predisposition to perceive one thing and not another.

Wavelength

The distance from the peak of one light or sound wave to the peak of the next.

Hue

The dimension of color that is determined by the wavelength of light; what we know as the color names blue, green, and so forth.

Intensity

The amount of energy in a light wave or sound wave, which we perceive as brightness or loudness, as determined by the wave's amplitude.

Retina

The light-sensitive inner surface of the eye; contains the receptor rods and cones plus layers of neurons that begin the processing of visual information.

Rods

Retinal receptors that detect black, white, an gray; necessary for peripheral and twiligh vision, when cones don't respond.

Cones

Retinal receptor cells that are concetrated near the center of the retina; in daylight or well-lit conditions, cones detect fine detail and give rise to color sensations.

Optic Nerve

The nerve that carries neural impulses from the eye to the brain

Blind Spot

The point at which the optic nerve leaves the eye; this part of the retina is "blind" because it has no receptor cells.

Feature Detector

Nerve cell in the brain that responds to specific features of a stimulus, such as edges, lines, and angles.

Parallel Processing

The processing of many aspects of a problem or scene at the same time; the brain's natural mode of information processing for many functions, including vision.

Gestalt

An organized whole. Gestalt psychologists emphasized our tendency to integrate pieces of information into meaningful wholes.

Figure-ground

The organization of the visual field into objects (the figures) that stand out from their surroundings (the ground)

Grouping

The perceptual tendency to organize stimuli into meaningful groups.

Depth Perception

The ability to see objects in three dimensions, although the images that strike the retina are two dimensional; allows us to judge distance.

Visual Cliff

A laboratory device for testing depth perception in infants and young animals.

Binocular Cue

A depth cue, such as retinal disparity, that depends on the use of two eyes.

Retinal Disparity

A binocular cue for perceiving depth. By comparing images from the two eyes, the brain computes distance-the greater th disparity (difference) between the two images, the closer the object.

Monocular Cue

A depth cue, such as interposition or linear perspective, available to either eye alone.

Perceptual Constancy

Perceiving objects as unchanging (having consistent color, brightness, shape, and size) even as illumination and retinal images change.

ColorConstancy

Perceiving familiar objects as having consistent color, even if changing illumination alters th wavelenghs reflected by the object.

Perceptual Adaptation

In vision, the ability to adjust to an artificially displaced or even inverted visual field.

Audition

The sense or act of hearing.

Frequency

The number of complete wavelengths that pass a point in a given time (for example, per second)

Pitch

A tone's experienced highness or lowness; depends on frequency.

Cochlea

A coiled, bony, fluid-filled tube in the inner ear; sound waves traveling through the cochlear fluid trigger nerve impulses.

Hypnosis

A social interaction in which one person (the hypnotist) suggests to another (the subject) that certain perceptions, feelings, thoughts, or behaviors will spontaneously occur.

Sensory Interaction

The principle that one sense may influence another, as when the smell of food influences its taste.

Kinesthesis

The system for sensing the position and movement of individual body parts.

Vestibular Sense

The sense of body movement and position, including the sense of balance.

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