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52 terms

AP Psychology chap 4 Tuyen Nguyen

The process by which stimulation of a sensory receptor produces neural impulses that the brain interprets.
the process of organizing and interpreting sensory information
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.
sensory adaptation
reduced responsiveness caused by prolonged stimulation
absolute threshold
minimum stimulation needed to detect a particular stimulus 50% of the time
difference threshold
the smallest change in stimulation that a person can detect
Weber's Law
the principle that, to be perceived as different, two stimuli must differ by a constant minimum percentage (rather than a constant amount)
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.
the light-sensitive membrane covering the back wall of the eyeball
light sensitive cells (rods and cones) that convert light to electrochemical impulses
retinal receptors that detect black, white, and gray; necessary for peripheral and twilight vision, when cones don't respond
area consisting of a small depression in the retina containing cones and where vision is most acute
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, creating a "blind" spot because no receptor cells are located there.
intensity of reflected light that reaches our eyes
Also called hue, it is not a property of things in the external world. It is a psychological sensation created by the brain from information obtained by the eyes from light waves of visible light.
visible spectrum
light energy that can be seen and can be broken into the colors of the rainbow
trichromatic theory
idea that color vision is based on our sensitivity to three different colors
opponent process theory
the theory that opposing retinal processes (red-green, yellow-blue, white-black) enable color vision. For example, some cells are stimulated by green and inhibited by red; others are stimulated by red and inhibited by green
images that occur when a visual sensation persists for a brief time even after the original stimulus is removed
color blindness
a variety of disorders marked by inability to distinguish some or all colors
electromagnetic spectrum
arrangement of electromagnetic radiation--including radio waves, visible light from the Sun, gamma rays, X rays, ultraviolet waves, infrared waves, and microwaves--according to their wavelengths
the number of complete wavelengths that pass a point in a given time
the height of a wave's crest
Tympanic Membrane
The eardrum. A structure that separates the outer ear from the middle ear and vibrates in response to sound waves.
a coiled, bony, fluid-filled tube in the inner ear through which sound waves trigger nerve impulses
basilar membrane
A structure that runs the length of the cochlea in the inner ear and holds the auditory receptors, called hair cells.
a tone's highness or lowness; depends on frequency
the human perception of how much energy a sound wave carries
the distinguishing quality of a sound
conduction deafness
hearing loss caused by damage to the mechanical system that conducts sound waves to the cochlea
nerve deafness
hearing loss caused by damage to the cochlea's receptor cells or to the auditory nerve
vestibular sense
the sense of body movement and position, including the sense of balance
kinesthetic sense
the sense of body position and movement of body parts relative to each other
sense of smell
chemical signals released by organisms when they are ready to breed
sense of taste
skin senses
Sensory systems for processing touch, warmth, cold, texture, and pain
Gate control theory
theory that spinal cord contains neurological gate that blocks pains signals or allows them to pass. gate is opened by activity of pain going up small nerve fibers & gate is closed by act of large fibers or by info coming from brain
placebo effect
Experimental Results caused by expectations alone; any effect on behavior caused by the administration of an inert substance or condition, which is assumed to be an active agent.
An idea important to a system of beliefs
feature detectors
nerve cells in the brain that respond to specific features of the stimulus, such as shape, angle, or movement
binding problem
question of how the visual, auditory, and other areas of the brain influence one another to produce a combined perception of a single object
bottom up processing
analysis that begins with the sensory receptors and works up to the brain's integration of sensory information
top down processing
information processing guided by higher-level mental processes, as when we construct perceptions drawing on our experience and expectations
perceptual constancy
perceiving objects as unchanging (having consistent lightness, color, shape, and size) even as illumination and retinal images change
a false idea; something that one seems to see or to be aware of that really does not exist
ambiguous figures
Images that are capable of more than one interpretation
gestalt psychology
a psychological approach that emphasizes that we often perceive the whole rather than the sum of the parts
the part of a pattern that commands attention
the part of a pattern that does not command attention - A.K.A. the background
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