64 terms

chapter 5 and 6 psychology notecards

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Sensation
The process by which out sensory receptors and nervous system recieve and represent stimulus energies from our environment
Perception
The process of organizing and interpreting sensory info, enabling us to recognize meaningful objects and events
Bottom-up processing
Analysis that begins with the sense receptors and works up to the brains integration of sensory info
Top-down processing
Info processing guided by higher level mental processes, as when we construct perceptions drawing on out experience and expectations
Psychophysics
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 percent of the time
Signal detection theory
Predicts how and when we detect the presence of a faint stimulus (signal) amid background stimulation (noise). Assumes that there is no single absolute threshold and that detection depends partly on a persons experience, expectations, motivation, and level of fatigue.
Subliminal
Below ones absolute threshold for conscious awareness.
Difference threshold
The minimum difference that a person can detect between 2 stimuli. We experience the difference threshold as a just noticeable difference
Webers law
The principle that, to perceive their difference, 2 stimuli must differ by a constant minimum percentage
Sensory adaption
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.
Wavelength
The distance from the peak of one light or sound wave to the peak of the next. Electromagnetic wavelengths vary from the short blips of cosmic rays to the long pulses of radio transmission
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 or sound wave, which we perceive as brightness or loudness, as determined by the waves amplitude
Pupil
The adjustable opening in the center of the eye through which light enters
Iris
A ring of muscle tissue that forms the colored portion of the eye around the pupil and controls the size of the pupil opening
Lens
The transparent structure behind the pupil that changes shape to focus to images on the retina
Accommodation
The process by which the eyes lens changes shape to focus the image of near 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 info
Acuity
The sharpness of vision
Nearsightedness
A condition in which nearby objects are seen more clearly than distant objects bc the lens focuses te image of distant objects in front of the retina
Farsightedness
A condition in which faraway objects are seen more clearly that near objects bc the image of near objects is focused behind the retina
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 retinal and that function in daylight or in well-lit conditions. The 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, creating a blind spot bc no receptor cells are located there
fovea
The central focal point in the retina, around which the eyes 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 brains natural mode of info processing for many functions, including vision. Contrasts with the step by step processing of most computers and of conscious problem solving
Young- Helmholtz trichromatic (three color) 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 enable color vision. For example, some cells are stimulated by green and inhibited by red; others are stimulated by red and inhibited by green.
Color constancy
Perceiving familiar objects as having consistent color, even if changing illumination alters the wavelengths reflected by the object
Audition
The sense of hesring
Frequency
The number of complete wavelengths that pass a point in a give time
Pitch
A tones highness or lowness; depends on frequency
Middle ear
The chamber between the eardrum and cochlea containing three tiny bones ( hammer, anvil, and stirrup) that concentrate the vibrations of the eardrum on the cochleas oval window
Inner ear
The innermost part of the ear, containing the cochlea, semicircular canals, and vestibular sacs.
Cochlea
A coiled, bony, fluid filled tube in the inner ear through which sound waves trigger nerve impulses
Place theory
In hearing, the theory that links the pitch we hear with the place where the cochleas membrane is stimulated
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 it's 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 cochleas receptor cells or the auditory nerves; also called nerve deafness
Gate-control theory
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 in larger fibers and is closed by the activity of pain signals traveling up small nerve fibers and is closed by larger fibers or by info coming from the brain
sensory ineraction
The principle that one sense may influence another, as when the smell of food influences it's taste
Kinesthesis
The system for sending 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 captire
The tendency for vision to dominate the other senses
Gestalt
An organized whole. Gestalt psychologists emphasize our tendency to integrate pieces of info into meaningful wholes
Figure ground
The organization of the visual field into objects that stand out from their surroundings
Grouping
The perceptual tendency to organize stimuli into coherent groups
Depth perception
The ability to see objects In 3 dimensions although the images that strike the retina are 2-D; allows us to judge distance
Visual cliff
A laboratory device for testing depth perception in infants and young animals
Binocular lense
Depth cues, such as retinal display and convergence, that depend on the use of 2 eyes
Monocular cues
Distance cues, such as linear perspective and overlap, available to either eye alone
Retinal display
A binocular cue for perceiving depth: the greater the disparity between the 2 images the retina receives of an object, the closer the object is to the viewer
Convergence
A binocular cue for perceiving depth; the extent to which the eyes converge inward when looking at an onject
Phi phenomenon
An illusion of movement created when 2 or more adjacent lights blink on and off in succession
Perceptual consistency
Perceiving objects as unchanging (having consistent lightness, color, shape and size) even as illumination and retinal images change
Perceptual adaption
In vision, the ability to adjust to an artificially displaced or even inverted visual field
Perceptual set
A mental predisposition to perceive one thing and not another
Extrasensory perception (ESP)
The controversial claim that perception can occur apart from sensory input. Said to include telepathy, clairvoyance, and percognition
Parapsychology
The study of paranormal phenomena, including ESP and psychokinesis
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