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37 terms

AP Psych Chapter 5 & 6

AP Psychology Myers 7e
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sensation
the process by which our sensory receptors and nervous system receive and represent stimulus energies from our environment
perception
the process of organizing and interpreting sensory information, enabling us to recognize meaningful objects and events
bottom-up processing
analysis that begins with the sense 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
absolute threshold
the minimum stimulation needed to detect a particular stimulus 50 percent of the time
sensory adaptation
diminished sensitivity as a consequence of constant stimulation
transduction
conversion of one form of energy into another. In sensation, the transforming of stimulus energies into neural impulses
pupil
the adjustable opening in the center of the eye through which light enters
accommodation
the process by which the eye's lens changes shape to focus near or far objects on the retina
retina
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
rods
retinal receptors that detect black, white, and gray; necessary for peripheral and twilight vision, when cones don't respond
cones
receptor cells that are concentrated near the center of the retina and that function in daylight or in well-lit conditions. The cones detect find 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, creating a "blind" spot because no receptor cells are located there
fovea
the central focal point in the retina, around which the eye's cones cluster
feature detectors
nerve cells in the brain that respond to specific features of the stimulus, such as shape, angle, or movement
parallel processing
the processing of several aspects of a problem simultaneously; the brain's natural mode of information processing for many functions, including vision. Contrasts with the step-by-step processing of most computers and of conscious problem solving.
Young-Helmholtz trichromatic theory
the theory that the retina contains three different color receptors - one most sensitive to red, one to green, one to blue - which when stimulated in combination can produce the perception of any color
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.
audition
the sense of hearing
cochlea
a coiled, bony, fluid-filled tube in the inner ear through which sound waves trigger nerve impulses
frequency theory
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
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; also called nerve deafness
gate-control theory
the theory that the spinal cord contains a neurological "gate" that blocks pain signals or allows them to pass on to the brain. The "gate" is opened by the activity of pain signals traveling up small nerve fibers and is closed by activity in larger fibers or by information coming from the brain
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
selective attention
the focusing of conscious awareness on a particular stimulus, as in the cocktail party effect
visual capture
the tendency for vision to dominate the other senses
figure-ground
the organization of the visual field into objects (the figures) that stand out from their surroundings (the grounds)
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
retinal disparity
a binocular cue for perceiving depth: By comparing images from the two eyeballs, the brain computes distance - the greater the difference between the two images, the closer the object
convergence
a binocular cue for perceiving depth; the extent to which the eyes converge in ward when looking at an object
perceptual set
perceiving objects as unchanging (having consistent lightness, color, shape, and size) even as illumination and retinal images change
human factors psychology
a branch of psychology that explores how people and machines interact and how machines and physical environments can be adapted to human behaviors