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Unit 3: Sensation and Perception
Terms in this set (91)
the process by which our sensory receptors and nervous system receive (pick up) and represent stimulus energies from our environment
the process of organizing and interpreting sensory information, enabling us to recognize and give meaning to objects and events
analysis that begins with the sensory receptors and works up to the brain's integration of sensory information
information processing guided by higher-level mental processes, as when we construct perceptions drawing on our experience, memories, and expectations
which is faster: bottom-up or top-down processing?
Which is more reliable/accurate: bottom-up or top-down processing?
the ability to focus on only one stimulus from among all sensory input
failing to see visible objects when our attention is directed elsewhere
failing to notice changes in the environment
conversion of one form of energy into another. In sensation, the transforming of stimulus energies, such as sights, sounds, and smells, into neural impulses our brains can interpret (turning sensations in the "brain language" for the brain to understand)
the study of relationships between the physical characteristics of stimuli, such as their intensity, and our psychological experience of them
the minimum stimulation needed to detect a particular stimulus 50 percent of the time
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 alertness.
below one's absolute threshold for conscious awareness
the activation, often unconsciously, of certain associations, thus predisposing one's perception, memory, or response
difference threshold (just noticeable difference)
the minimum difference between two stimuli required for detection 50% of the time
the principle that, to be perceived as different, two stimuli must differ by a constant minimum percentage (rather than a constant amount)
Weber's law says that when the intensity of a stimulus is high, the Difference Threshold (Just Noticeable Difference) is ______________
Weber's law says that when the intensity of a stimulus is low, the Difference Threshold (Just Noticeable Difference) is ________________
diminished sensitivity of sensory receptor cells as a consequence of constant stimulation
a mental predisposition to perceive one thing and not another
which type of processing would include a "perceptual set?" Top-down or Bottom-up?
Extra sensory perception (ESP)
the controversial claim that perception can occur apart from sensory input; includes telepathy, clairvoyance, and precognition
the study of paranormal phenomena, including ESP and psychokinesis
the distance from the peak of one light 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
the dimension of color that is determined by the wavelength of light; what we know as the color names blue, green, and so forth
the amount of energy in a light or sound wave, which we perceive as brightness or loudness, as determined by the wave's amplitude
the adjustable opening in the center of the eye through which light enters
a ring of muscle tissue that forms the colored portion of the eye around the pupil and controls the size of the pupil opening
the transparent structure behind the pupil that changes shape to help focus images on the 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
the process by which the eye's lens changes shape to focus near or far objects on the retina
retinal receptors that detect black, white, and gray; necessary for peripheral and twilight vision, when cones don't respond
retinal receptor cells 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.
Where are cones located?
fovea (in the retina)
Which helps you see during the day? Rods or cones?
Which helps you see colors?
Which helps you see in the dark?
the nerve that carries neural impulses from the eye to the brain
the point at which the optic nerve leaves the eye, creating a "blind" spot because no receptor cells are located there
the central focal point in the retina, around which the eye's cones cluster
nerve cells in the brain that respond to specific features of the stimulus, such as shape, angle, or movement
In the retina, the specialized neurons that connect the rods and cones with the ganglion cells.
the specialized cells which lie behind the bipolar cells whose axons form the optic nerve which takes the information to the brain
the processing of many aspects of a problem simultaneously; the brain's natural mode of information processing for many functions, including vision. Contrasts with the step-by-step (serial) processing of most computers and of conscious problem solving.
Young-Helmholtz trichromatic theory
the theory that the retina contains three different color receptors—one most sensitive to red, one to green, one to blue—which, when stimulated in combination, can produce the perception of any color.
the theory that opposing retinal processes (red-green, yellow-blue, white-black) enable color vision. For example, some cells are stimulated by green and inhibited by red; others are stimulated by red and inhibited by green
when the eye sees the complementary color of something that the viewer has spent an extended time viewing
an organized whole. Gestalt psychologists emphasized our tendency to integrate pieces of information into meaningful wholes.
the organization of the visual field into objects (the figures) that stand out from their surroundings (the ground).
the perceptual tendency to organize stimuli into coherent groups
We group nearby figures together (We see not six separate lines, but three sets of two lines)
we perceive smooth, continuous patterns rather than discontinuous ones
we fill in gaps to create a complete, whole object
the ability to see objects in three dimensions although the images that strike the retina are two-dimensional; allows us to judge distance
a laboratory device for testing depth perception in infants and young animals
depth cues, such as retinal disparity, that depend on the use of two eyes
a binocular cue for perceiving depth by comparing images from the retinas in the two eyes, the brain computes distance—the greater the disparity (difference) between the two images, the closer the object.
depth cues, such as interposition and linear perspective, available to either eye alone
if one object partially blocks our view of another, we perceive it as closer (monocular cue)
A monocular cue for perceiving depth; the more parallel lines converge, the greater their perceived distance.
an illusion of movement created when two or more adjacent lights blink on and off in quick succession
light and shadow
Nearby objects reflect more light to eyes. Given two identical objects, the dimmer one seems farther away
As we move, objects that are actually stable may appear to move
we perceive objects higher in our field of vision as farther away
a monocular cue for perceiving depth; the smaller retinal image is farther away
perceiving objects as unchanging even as illumination and retinal images change
perceiving familiar objects as having consistent color, even if changing illumination alters the wavelengths reflected by the object
in vision, the ability to adjust to an artificially displaced or even inverted visual field
the sense or act of hearing
the number of complete wavelengths that pass a point in a given time (for example, per second)
a tone's experienced highness or lowness; depends on frequency
the chamber between the eardrum and cochlea containing three tiny bones (hammer, anvil, and stirrup) that concentrate the vibrations of the eardrum on the cochlea's oval window
a coiled, bony, fluid-filled tube in the inner ear through which sound waves trigger nerve impulses
the innermost part of the ear, containing the cochlea, semicircular canals, and vestibular sacs
sensorineural hearing loss
hearing loss caused by damage to the cochlea's receptor cells or to the auditory nerves; also called nerve deafness
conduction hearing loss
hearing loss caused by damage to the mechanical system that conducts sound waves to the cochlea
a device for converting sounds into electrical signals and stimulating the auditory nerve through electrodes threaded into the cochlea
in hearing, the theory that links the pitch we hear with the place where the cochlea's membrane is stimulated
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 its pitch
gate-control theory of pain
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.
savory taste for monosodium glutamate
the brain center for smell, located below the frontal lobes
the system for sensing the position and movement of individual body parts
the sense of body movement and position, including the sense of balance
the principle that one sense may influence another, as when the smell of food influences its taste
which senses are chemincal?
taste and smell
in psychological science, the influence of bodily sensations, gestures, and other states on cognitive preferences and judgments
where does most of our vestibular sense take place?
inner ear (semicircular canal and vestibular sacs)
what lobe contains the olfactory bulb?
what lobe processes taste?
Recommended textbook explanations
C. Nathan DeWall, David G Myers
C. Nathan DeWall, David G Myers
Richard A. Kasschau
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