Like this study set? Create a free account to save it.

Sign up for an account

Already have a Quizlet account? .

Create an account


process by which our sensory receptors and nervous system recieve and represent stimulous energies from our environment


process of organizing and interpreting sensory information, enabling us to recognize meaningful objects and events

bottom-up processing

analysis that begins with the sensory receptors and works up to the brain's integration of sensory information; minds interpreting senses

top-down processing

information processing guided by higher level mental processes, as when we construct perceptions drawing on our experience and expectations

selective attention

the focusing of concious awareness on a particular stimulus

inattentional blindness

failing to see visible objects when our attention is directed elsewhere; pickpocket

change blindness

failing to notice changes in the environment; spotlight


stimuli that you weren't expecting


the study of relationships between the physical characteristics of stimuli, such as their intensity, and our psychological experience of them

absolute threshold

the minimum stimulation needed to detect a particular stimulus 50% of the time; varies with age

signal detection theory

a theory predicting how and when we detect the presence of a faint stimulus amid background stimulation; detection depends partly on a person's experience, expectations, motivation, and alertness


below one's absolute threshold for concious awareness


how much of our information processing occurs

difference threshold

the minimum difference between two stimuli required for detection 50% of the time; experienced as just a notable difference

webler's law

the principle that, to be percieved as different, two stimuli must differ by a constant percentage rather than a constant amount

sensory adaptation

diminished sensitivity as a consequence of constant stimulation; "get used to it"; allows freedom to focus on informative changes in our environment without being distracted


the transforming of stimulus energies such as sights, sounds, and smells, into neural impulses our brain can interpret


the distance form the peak of one light or sound wave to the peak on the next


the dimension of color that is determined by the wavelength of light; short=violet (smurfs are short) and long=red (clifford is big)


the amount of energy in a light or sound wave, which we percieve as brightness or loudness, as determined by the wave's amplitude (height); smaller=dull, greater=bright


the adjustable opening in the center of the eye through which light enters


a ring of muscle tissue that forms the colored portion of the eye around the pupil and controls the size of the pupil opening


the transparent structure behind the pupil that changes shape to help focus images on the retina; flips the image


the light sensitive inner surface of the eye, containing the receptor rods and cones plus layers of neurons that begin the processing of visual information


retinal receptors that detect black, white and grey; 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 funcion in daylight or in well lit conditions; detect fine detail and give rise to color sensations

optic nerve

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


the central focal point in the retina, around which the eye's cones cluster


the process by which the eye's lens changes shape to focus near of far objects on the retina (glasses)

blind spot

the point at which the optic nerve leaves the eye; non receptor cells are located there, creating a blindspot

visual information processing

light energy through retina, to receptor cells rods and cones where light energy triggers chemical changes which activate the bipolar cells, then the ganglion cells; ganglion cells converge to form optic nerve and information is carried to your brain

feature detectors

nerve cells in the brain that respond to specific features of the stimulus, such as shape, angle, or movement

parallel processing

processing of many aspects of a problem simultaneously; brain's natural mode of information processing

visua information processing

scene, retinal processing, feature detection, parallel processing, recognition

retinal processing

receptor rods and cones to bipolar cells, to ganglion cells; waves coming in form image

feature detection

the brain's detector cells respond to specific features; gives image shape

parallel processing

the brain cell teams process combined information about color, movement, form, and depth


the brain interprets the constructed image based on information from stored images; recognize constructed image

young-helmholtz trichromatic theory

theory that retina contains three different color receptors (red green and blue) which when stimulated, combine to produce the perception of any color

color deficient

lack functioning red or green sensitive cones

opponent process theory

theory that opposing retinal processes (red-green; yellow-blue; white-black) enable color vision


the sense or act of hearing


determine sound waves loudness


determine sound waves pitch


the number of complete wavelengths that pass a point in a given time


a tone's experienced highness or lowness


measure sounds

middle ear

chamber between the eardrum and the cochlea containing 3 tiny bones (hammer, anvil, and stirrup) that concentrate the vibrations of the eardrum on the cochlea's oval window


a coiled, bony, fluid-filled tube in the inner ear through which sound waves trigger nerve impulses

inner ear

the innermost part of the ear, containing the cochlea, semicircular canals, and vestibular sacs

number of activated hair cells

we detect loudness from the...

place theory

the threory that links the pitch we hear with the place where the cohlea's membrane is stimulated

frequency theory

theory that the rate of nerve impulses traveling up the auditory nerve matches the frequency of a tone, enabling us to sense tis pitch

volley principle

neural cells alternate firing and can therefore achieve a higher combined frequency

conduction hearing loss

hearing loss caused by damage to the mechanical system that conducts sound waves to the cochlea

sensorineural hearing loss

hearing loss caused by damage to the cochlea's receptor cells or to the auditory nerves or hair

cochlear implant

a device for converting sounds into electrical signals and stimulating the auditory nerve through electrodes threaded into the cochlea

pressure, warmth, cold, and pain

four basic touch receptors

Please allow access to your computer’s microphone to use Voice Recording.

Having trouble? Click here for help.

We can’t access your microphone!

Click the icon above to update your browser permissions and try again


Reload the page to try again!


Press Cmd-0 to reset your zoom

Press Ctrl-0 to reset your zoom

It looks like your browser might be zoomed in or out. Your browser needs to be zoomed to a normal size to record audio.

Please upgrade Flash or install Chrome
to use Voice Recording.

For more help, see our troubleshooting page.

Your microphone is muted

For help fixing this issue, see this FAQ.

Star this term

You can study starred terms together

Voice Recording