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awareness due to a stimulus of a sensory organ


the organization, identification, and interpretation of a sensation in order to form a mental representation


the experience of one sense that is evoked by another


what takes place when many sensors in the body convert physical signals from the environment into neural signals sent to the central nervous system


methods that measure the strength of a stimulus and the observer's sensitivity to that stimulus

Absolute threshold

the minimal intensity needed to barely detect a stimulus

(JND) Just noticeable difference

the minimal change in a stimulus that can just barely be detected

Weber's Law

The just noticeable difference of a stimulus is a constant proportion despite variations in intensity

Signal detection theory

the response to a stimulus depends both on a person's sensitivity to the stimulus in the presence of noise and on a person's response criterion

visual acuity

ability to see fine detail


light-sensitive tissue lining the back of the eyeball


the process by which the eye maintains a clear image on the retina


detect color, operate under normal daylight conditions, and allow us to focus on fine detail


become active only under low-light for night vision


an area of the retina where vision is the clearest and there are no rods at all

blind spot

contains neither rods or cones and therefore has no mechanism to sense light

receptive field

the region of the sensory surface that, when stimulated, causes a change in the firing rate of that neuron

monocular depth cues

aspect of a scene that yield info about depth when viewed with only one eye

binocular disparity

the difference in the retinal image of the two eyes that provides info about depth

ames room


apparent motion

the perception of movement is a result of alternating signals appearing in rapid succession in different locations


how high or low a sound is


sounds intensity

above 85 decibels can be damaging



a fluid filled tube that is the organ of auditory transduction

basilar membrane

a structure in the inner ear that undulates when vibrations from the ossicles reach the cochlear fluid

hair cells

specialized auditory receptor neurons embedded in the basilar membrane

place code

used mainly for high pitch frequencies, is active when the cochlea encodes different frequencies at different locations along the basilar membrane

temporal lobe

registers low frequencies via the firing rate of action potentials entering the auditory nerve

Haptic perception

results from our active exploration of the environment by touching and grasping objects with our hands

A-delta fibers

which transmit the initial sharp pain

C fibers

which transmit longer-lasting, duller pain

gate-control theory

A theory of pain perception based on the idea that signals arriving from pain receptors in the body can be stopped

vestibular membrane

the three fluid-filled semicircular canals and adjacent organs located next to the cochlea





olfactory receptor neurons

receptor cells that initiate the sense of smell

olfactory bulb

a brain structure located above the nasal cavity beneath the frontal lobes


biochemical odorants emitted by other membranes of their species that can affect the animal's behavior or physiology

taste buds

the organ of taste transduction


The ability to store and retrieve info over time.


The process by which we transform what we feel, hear and see into a memory


The process of maintaining information in memory over time


the process of bringing to mind information that has been previously encoded.

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