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Absolute Threshold

The minimum amount of physical energy needed to produce a sensory experience

Difference Threshold

Smallest physical difference between 2 stimuli that can still be recognized as a difference

Operational Definition

Stimulus level at which sensory signal is detected half of the time


Layer at the back of the eye that contains rods and cones; converts light energy to neural responses


Photoreceptors in the retina that help you see in the dark


Photoreceptors in the retina that help you see color


Structure that focuses light in the eye


Colored part of the eye

Optic Nerve

Part of the Eye that carries information from the eye towards the brain

The way the eye works

Rays of light entering your eye are bent first by the curved transparent cornea, pass through the liquid aqueous humor and the hole through your muscular iris called the pupil, are further bent by the lens, and pass through your transparent vitreous humor before focusing on the rods and cones in the back of your eye

Complementary Colors

Colors opposite each other on the color wheel

Trichromatic Theory

Theory stating that 3 types of color receptors produce the primary color sensations of red, green and blue

Color Blindness

Inability to see certain wavelengths of color; most common form is red and green; most common in males

Auditory Nerve

Nerve that carries impulses from cochlea to the brain


Primary organ of hearing; fluid filled coiled tube located in the inner ear

Basilar Membrane

Stimulates hair cells that produce the neural effects of auditory stimulation


Thin membrane that takes sound wave's vibrations from outer ear to middle ear

Middle ear bones

This consists of hammer, anvil, stirrup

How hearing works

Your outer ear channels sound waves to the eardrum that vibrates with the sound waves. This causes the middle ear bones to vibrate. The vibrating stirrup pushes against the oval window of the cochlea. Inside the cochlea is the basilar membrane with hair cells that are bent by the vibrations and transduce this mechanical energy to the electromechanical energy of neural impulses. Hair cells synapse with auditory neurons whose axons from the auditory nerve. The auditory nerve transmits sound messages through your medulla, pons, and thalamus to the auditory cortex of the temporal lobes.

Vestibular Sense

Sense that tells how one's own body is oriented in the world with respect to gravity

Kinesthetic Sense

Provides constant sensory feedback about what the body is doing during motor activities

5 tastes

Umami, Sweet, Saline (Salt), Sour, Bitter

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