AP Psychology Chapter 6 Sensation and Perception David G. Meyers Ninth Edition

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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 sensory receptors and works up to the brains 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
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 % of the time
signal detection theory
theory predicting how and when we detect the presence of a faint stimulus amid background information and detection depends partly on the persons experience expectations motivation and drowsiness
subliminal
below ones absolute threshold for conscious awareness
priming
activation of certain associations thus predisposing ones perception memory or response
difference threshold
the minimum difference between two stimuli required for detection 50 % of the time
webers law
the principle that to be perceived as different two stimuli must differ by a constant percentage rather than amount
sensory adaption
diminished sensitivity as a consequence of constant stimulation
transduction
conversion of one form of energy into another and the changing of stimulus energies such as sights sounds and smells into neural impulses our brains can interpret
wavelength
the distance between the peak of one light or sound wave to the peak of the next they may vary from short blips of cosmic rays to long pulses of radio transmission
hue
the dimension of color that is determined by the wavelength of light
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
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
accomodation
the process by which the eyes lens changes shape to focus near or far objects of the retina
rods
retinal receptors that detect black white and gray necessary for peripheral and twilight vision when cones dont respond
cones
retinal receptors that are concentrated near the center of the retina and that function in daylight or in well lit conditions and detect fine detail and give rise to color sensations
optic nerve
the nerve that carries neural impulses from one eye to the brain
blind spot
the point at which the optic nerve leaves the eye creating a spot where one cant see because there are no receptor cells 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
processing of many aspects of a problem simultaneously the brains natural mode of information processing for many functions
young helmholtz trichromatic theory
the theory that the retina contains three different color receptors of green red and blue which when we have stimulated in combination can produce perception of any color
opponent process theory
the theory that opposing retinal processes red-green yellow-blue and white-black that enable color vision
audition
the sense or act of hearing
frequency
the number of complete wavelengths that pass a point in a given time
pitch
a tones experienced highness or lowness
middle ear
the chamber between the eardrum and cochlea containing three tiny bones that concentrate the vibrations of the eardrum on the cochleas oval window
cochlea
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
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 one to hear 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 chohleas receptor cells or to the auditory nerves also called nerve deafness
cochlear implant
a device for converting sounds into electrical signals and stimulating the auditory nerve through electrodes threaded into the cochlea
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
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 information coming from the brain
sensory interaction
the principle that one sense may influence another as when the smell of food influences taste
gestalt
an organized whole it emphasized our tendency to integrate pieces of information 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 three dimensions although images that strike the retina are two dimensional
visual cliff
a lab device for testing depth perception in infants and young animals
binocular cues
depth cues that depend on the use of two eyes
retinal disparity
a binocular cue for perceiving depth by comparing images from the retinas in the two eyes the brain computes distance the greater the difference between to images then the closer the object
monocular cues
depth cues available to either eye alone
phi phenomenon
an illusion of movemnt created when two or more adjacent lights blink on and off in quick succession
perceptual constancy
perceiving objects as unchanging even as illumination and retinal images change
color constancy
perceiving familiar objects as having consistent color even if changing illumination alters the wavelength reflected by the object
perceptual adaption
in vision the ability to adjust to an artificially displaced or even inverted feild
perceptual det
a mental predisposition to perceive one thing and not another
human factors psychology
a branch of psychology that explores how people and machines interact and how machines and physical environments can be made safe and easy to use
extrasensory perception ESP
the controversial claim that perception can occur apart from sensory input includes telepathy clairvoyance and precognition
parapsychology
the study of paranormal phenomena
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