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the process by which our sensory receptors and nervous system receive and represent stimulus energies from our environment
the process of organizing and interpreting sensory information, enabling us to recognize meaningful objects and events
analysis that begins with the sense receptors and works up to the brain's integration of sensory information
information processing guided by higher-level mental processes, as when we construct perceptions drawing on our experience and expectations
the minimum stimulation needed to detect a particular stimulus 50 percent of the time
conversion of one form of energy into another. In sensation, the transforming of stimulus energies into neural impulses
the process by which the eye's lens changes shape to focus near or far objects on the 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
retinal receptors that detect black, white, and gray; necessary for peripheral and twilight vision, when cones don't respond
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
the point at which the optic nerve leaves the eye, creating a "blind" spot because no receptor cells are located there
nerve cells in the brain that respond to specific features of the stimulus, such as shape, angle, or movement
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
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.
a coiled, bony, fluid-filled tube in the inner ear through which sound waves trigger nerve impulses
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
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
the principle that one sense may influence another, as when the smell of food influences its taste
the focusing of conscious awareness on a particular stimulus, as in the cocktail party effect
the organization of the visual field into objects (the figures) that stand out from their surroundings (the grounds)
the ability to see objects in three dimensions although the images that strike the retina are two-dimensional; allows us to judge distance
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
a binocular cue for perceiving depth; the extent to which the eyes converge in ward when looking at an object
perceiving objects as unchanging (having consistent lightness, color, shape, and size) even as illumination and retinal images change
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