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Terms in this set (39)
The process by which our sensory systems (eyes, ears, and other sense organs) and nervous systems receive stimuli from our environment.
Information processing that emphasizes the importance of the sensory receptors in detecting the basic features of a stimulus in the process of recognizing a whole pattern; analysis that moves from the parts to the whole.
Conscious process of organizing and interpreting data from the senses into meaningful 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% of the time.
difference threshold (just noticeable difference)
the minimum difference between two stimuli required for detection 50% of the time. We experience the difference threshold as a just noticeable difference. (jnd)
signal detection theory
A theory predicting how and when we detect the presence of a faint stimulus (signal) amid background stimulation (noise). Assumes there is no single absolute threshold and that detection depends partly on a person's experience, expectations, motivation, and level of fatigue.
Diminished sensitivity as a result of constant stimulation.
Focusing conscious awareness on a particular stimulus to the exclusion of others, as in the cocktail party effect.
An energy spectrum that includes X-rays, radar, and radio waves. A small portion of this spectrum includes visible light energy which can be detected by the eye.
Dimension of color that is determined by the wavelength of light energy; what we know as the color names blue, green, and so forth.
The clear bulge on the front of the eyeball. The curvature of the cornea begins bending the light rays, a process the lens continues in order to produce a focused image on the retina.
A ring of muscle tissue that forms the colored portion of the eye around the pupil; controls the size of the pupil opening to admit the proper amount of light to the eye.
A hole in the center of the iris of the eye that allows light to enter the eyeball. The diameter of pupil is controlled by the iris in response to the brightness of the light.
A transparent structure behind the pupil in the eye; the thickness of the lens changes to focus images on the retina.
Layers of tissue located in the very back of the eye. Composed of millions of light-sensitive structures (photoreceptor cells) called rods and cones, when light strikes the rods and cones, they convert the light energy into nerve impulses and sends those signals to the brain.
Specialized cells in every sensory system that detect specific types of energy (light, sound, odor) and transform them into neural impulses that the brain can process; this conversion is known as transduction.
Located in the periphery of the retina, these are sensory receptors for vision that work best in reduced illumination; only allow perception of black, white, and gray with low sensitivity to detail and are not involved in color vision.
Cone-shaped visual receptor cells located in retina; work best in bright light. They are responsible for viewing color and detecting detail; greatest density in the fovea.
"Point of central focus" where vision is best. This is because this spot on the back of the retina has more cones than anywhere else and helps us see fine detail.
Eye neurons that in the middle of the retina that receive information from the rods and cones and pass it on to the ganglion cells of the optic nerves.
Top layer of cells in the retina, these specialized neurons are connected to the bipolar cells. The bundled axons of these ganglion cells form the optic nerve.
Comprised of the axons of retinal ganglion cells, this carries neural impulses from the eye to the brain.
The point at which the optic nerve leaves the eye, through the retina, creating a "blind" spot because no rods and cones are located there.
trichromatic (three color) theory
Theory of color vision that says cones are "tuned" to detect red, green, or blue light. Various levels of stimulation in these three kinds of cones enable us to identify millions of different color combinations.
opponent process theory
Theory of color vision that says color is processed in pairs (red-green, yellow-blue, and black-white.) Light that stimulates one half of the pair inhibits the other half. For example, some cells are stimulated by green and inhibited by red; others are stimulated by red and inhibited by green.
A sound's "highness" or "lowness" which depends on frequency of the sound wave.
A measure of the number of sound wave peaks per second, or frequency, of a sound wave. This determines the pitch of a sound.
A measure of the height of a sound wave, which determines the loudness of a sound.
The opening through which sound waves travel as they move into in the ear for processing; ends at the tympanic membrane.
eardrum (tympanic membrane)
The tissue barrier at the end of the auditory canal. It transfers sound vibration from the air to the three tiny bones of the middle ear.
Three tiny bones in the middle ear (hammer, anvil, and stirrup) that transfer sound waves from the eardrum to the cochlea.
A coiled, bony, fluid-filled tube in the inner ear where sound waves are converted into nerve impulses.
Membrane that collects sound waves from the tiny bones of the middle ear and translates them into fluid movement in the cochlea.
Receptor cells for hearing within the cochlea that convert vibrations into neural impulses.
Carries sound information from the ears to the thalamus, and then to the auditory cortex of the temporal lobe.
Chemical receptor cells for smell located at top of nasal cavity.
The sense of body position and movement of body parts relative to each other.
The system for sensing body orientation and balance; located in the semicircular canals of the inner ear.
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