63 terms

AP Psychology Ch.4 Vocab

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Sensation
The process in which our sensory receptors and nervous system receive energies from our environment.
Perception
The process of organizing and interpreting sensory information, enabling us to recognize objects and events.
Bottom-Up processing
Analysis that begins with the sensory receptors and work 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.
Selective Attention
The focus of conscious awareness on a particular stimulus.
Inattention Blindness
Failing to see visible objects when our attention is directed elsewhere.
Change Blindness
Failing to notice changes in the environment.
Absolute thresholds
The minimum stimulation needed to detect a particular stimulus 50% of the time.
Psychophysics
The study of relationships between the physical characteristics of stimuli(signal) amid background stimulation(noise).Assumes there is no single absolute threshold and that detection depends partly on a persons experience, expectations, motivations and alertness.
Subliminal
Below ones absolute threshold for conscious awareness.
Priming
Te activation-often unconsciously- 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, we experience the difference threshold as a just noticeable difference.
Weber's Law
The principal that to be perceived as different, two stimuli must differ by a constant percentage(rather than a constant amount)
Sensory Adaptation
Diminished sensitivity as a consequence of constant stimulation.
Wavelength
The distance from the peak of one light sound 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 etc.
Intensity
The amount of energy in a light or sound wave, which we perceive as brightness or loudness.
Pupil
The adjustable opening in the center of the eye, light enters through here.
Iris
A ring of muscle that forms the colored portion of the eye around the pupil. Controls the size of the pupil opening.
Lens
The transparent structure behind the pupil that changes shape to help focus images on the retina.
Retina
The light sesnsitive inner surface of the eye, containing the receptor rods and the cones. Also contains layers of neurons that begin the process of visual information.
Accommodation
The process by which the eyes lens changes shape to focus near or far objects on the retina.
Cones
Retinal receptors that are concentrated near the center of the retina and that function in daylight or in well -lit conditions. The cones detect fine detail and give rise to color sensations.
Rods
Retinal receptors that detect black,white and gray; necessary for peripheral and twilight vision , when cones do not respond.
Optic Nerve
The nerve that carries neural impulses from the eyes 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 focus point in the retina, around the area where the clones cluster.
Feature Detector
Nerve cells in the brain that respond to specific features of the stimulus such as shape, angle or movement.
Parallel Processing
The processing of many aspects of a problem simultaneously; the brains natural mode of information processing for many functions including vision.
Young-Helmholtz trichromantic theory
The theory that the retina contains 3 different color receptors one most sensitive to red, one to green, one to blue-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 vision.
Audition
The sense or act of hearing.
Frequency
The numbers of complete wavelengths that pass a point in a given time.(ex. per second).
Pitch
.A ones experienced highness or lowness; depends on frequency.
Middle Ear
The chamber between the eardrum and cochlea contains 3 tiny bones(hammer, anvil, stirrup) that concentrate the vibrations on the cochlea's dual window.
Cochlea
A coiled, bony, fluid filled tube in the inner ear through which sound waves trigger neural impulses.
Inner Ear
The innermost part of the ear, containing the cochlea, semicircular canals and vestibular sacs.
Place Theory
In hearing, the theory, that the pitch we hear is 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 the pitch.
Conduction Hearing Loss
Caused by damage to the mechanical system that conducts sound waves to the cochlea.
Sesorineural Hearing Loss
Caused by damage to the cochlea's receptor 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 movements of individual body parts.
Vestibular sense
The sense of body movement and position, including 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 by information coming from the brain.
Sensory interaction
The principal that one sense may influence another as when the smell of food influences its taste.
Gestalt
An organized whole. Gestalt psychologists emphasized our tendency to integrate pieces of information into meaningful wholes.
Figure-Ground
a type of perceptual grouping which is a vital necessity for recognizing objects through vision.
Grouping
Perceptual tendency to organize stimuli into coherent groups.
Grouping: Proximity
Grouping figures together
Grouping: Similarity
Grouping similar figures together
Grouping: Continuity
We perceive smooth continuous patterns rather than discontinuous ones.
Grouping: Connectedness
Because they are uniformed and linked we perceive each set of two dots and the line between them as single unit.
Grouping: Closure
We fill in gaps to create a complete whole object.
Depth Perception
The ability to see objects in 3D although the images that strike the retina are 2D ; allows us to judge distances.
Visual Cliff
A laboratory device for testing the depth perception in infants and young animals.
Binocular Cues
Depths cue, such as retinal disparity that depends on the use of two eyes.
Retinal Disparity
A binocular cue for perceiving depth; by comparing images from the retinas in the eyes, the brain completes distance-the greater the disparity(difference) between the two objects the closer the object.
Monocular cues
Depth cues such as interposition and linear perspective, available to either eye.
Phi phenomenon
An illusion of movement created when 2 or more adjacent lights blink on and off in quick succession.
Perceptual Constancy
Perceiving objects as unchanging(consistent shape, size, color, lightness) even as illumination and retinal images change.
Color Constancy
Perceiving familiar objects as having consistent color, even if changing illumination alters the wavelengths reflected by the object
Perceptual Adaptation
In vision, the ability to adjust to an artificially or even visual field.

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