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Psychology Sensation and Perception Vocab
Terms in this set (31)
the process by which our sensory receptors and nervous system receive and represent stimulus energies from our environment.
the process of organizing and interpreting sensory information; enabling us to recognize meaningful objects and events.
the minimum stimulation needed to detect a particular stimulus 50 percent of the time.
the minimum difference between two stimuli required for detection 50% of the time; also referred to as just noticeable difference (JND)
diminished sensitivity as a consequence of constant stimulation.
signal detection theory
a theory predicting how and when we detect the presence of a faint stimuli ("signal") amid background stimulation ("noise"). Assumes that there is no single absolute threshold and that focuses more on the processing of briefly stored information. (e.g. what determines a "hit", "miss," "false alarm" or "correct rejection")
the adjustable opening in the center of the eye through which light enters.
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.
light-sensitive cells in the retina that convert light energy to neural impulses; specialized cells for detecting light.
the point at which the optic nerve leaves the eye; no receptors cells are located there. Creates a gap in our vision that is "filled" by the brain.
the degree of clarity, or sharpness, of visual perception. It may be measured in several ways; for example, by testing one's ability to detect very small gaps between two parts of a figure (the minimum separable method), or to discern a fine dark line on a light background or a fine light line on a dark background.
the colors that appear opposite to one another on a color wheel.
visual illusion in which retinal impressions persist after the removal of a stimulus, believed to be caused by the continued activation of the visual system... A common afterimage is the spot of light one sees after a camera flash has been fired.
snail-shaped tube in the inner ear that contains fluid that moves in response to vibrations, stimulating activity on the basilar membrane
the branch of the eighth cranial nerve concerned with the sense of hearing. It originates in the cochlea, from which nerve fibers pass through several layers of nuclei in the brainstem to terminate predominantly in the auditory cortex.
a hearing loss where the ear's ability to conduct sound from the outer ear and middle ear into the inner ear is blocked or reduced; hearing loss caused by damage to the (mechanical) middle ear structures that conduct sound waves to the cochlea.
a type of hearing loss. It occurs from damage to the inner ear, the nerve that runs from the ear to the brain (auditory nerve), or the brain; hearing loss caused by damage to the cochlea's receptors cells or to the auditory nerves; also called nerve deafness.
the first cranial nerve, which carries sensory fibers concerned with the sense of smell. It originates in the olfactory lobe and is distributed to olfactory receptors in the nasal mucous membrane.
the theory that the spinal cord contains neurological "gate" that blocks pain signals or allows them to pass on to the brain. The "gate" is open by the activity of pain signals traveling up small nerve fibers and is closed by activity in larger fibers or by information coming form the brain...the hypothesis that the subjective experience of pain is modulated by large nerve fibers in the spinal cord that act as gates, such that pain is not the product of a simple transmission of stimulation from the skin or some internal organ to the brain.
the sense of body movement and position, including the sense of balance; enabled by feedback from semicircular canals in inner ear
the system for sensing the position and movement of individual body parts; enabled by feedback from proprioceptors (which provide info about the movement of muscles, tendons, joints); also called "proprioception"; also known as kinesthesia.
Gestalt grouping principle; we fill in "gaps" to create a full, complete object
Gestalt grouping principle; we group nearby figures together
Gestalt grouping principle; we group similar figures together
Gestalt grouping principle; our tendency to perceive smooth, continuous patterns rather than discontinuous ones
one of the gestalt principles of organization, stating that objects functioning or moving in the same direction appear to belong together, that is, they are perceived as a single unit (e.g., a flock of birds).
the brain's perception of continuous movement in a rapid series of slightly varying images; this is how we perceive motion in film and animation
depth cues that only require input from one eye; often used in 2D art to create illusion of depth
depth cues that require the combined input of both eyes
a binocular cue for perceiving depth; by comparing the images of the retinas of the two eyes, the brain computes distance. The greater the disparity (difference) between the two images, the closer the object
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