63 terms

Chapter 3 Psychology Vocabulary

Vocabulary for Chapter 3 in Ciccarelli's Psychology Book
the process that occurs when special receptors in the sense organs are activated, allowing various forms of outside stimuli to become neural signals in the brain
the process of converting outside stimuli into neural activity
absolute threshold
the lowest level of stimulation that a person can consciously detect 50% of the time the stimulation is preset
tendency of the brain to stop attending to constant, unchanging information
sensory adaptation
tendency of sensory receptor cells to become less responsive to a stimulus that is unchanging
visual accommodation
the change in the thickness of the lens as the eye focuses on objects that are far away or close
visual sensory receptors found at the back of the retina responsible for non-color sensitivity to low levels of light
visual sensory receptors found at the back of the retina, responsible for color vision and sharpness
blind spot
area in the retina where the axons of the three layers of retinal cells exit the eye to form the optic nerve, insensitive to light
dark adaptation
the recovery of the eye's sensitivity to visual stimuli in darkness after exposure to bright lights
light adaptation
the recovery of the eye's sensitivity to visual stimuli in light after exposure to darkness
trichromatic theory
theory of color vision that proposes three types of cones: red, blue, and green
images that occur when a visual sensation persists for a brief time even after the original stimulus is removed
opponent-process theory
theory of color vision that proposes visual neurons are stimulated by light of one color and inhibited by light of another color
cycles or waves per second, a measurement of frequency
the visible part of the ear
auditory canal
short tunnel that runs from the pinna to the eardrum
snail-shaped structure of the inner ear that is filled with fluid
auditory nerve
bundle of axons from the hair cells in the inner ear
psychological experience of sound that corresponds to the frequency of the sound waves; higher frequencies are perceived as higher pitches
place theory
theory of pitch that states that different pitches are experienced by the stimulation of hair cells in different locations on the organ of Corti
frequency theory
theory of pitch that pitch is related to the speed of vibrations in the basilar membrane
volley principle
theory of pitch that states that frequencies from about 400Hz to 4000Hz cause the auditory neurons to fire in a volley pattern, or take turns firing
the sensation of taste
the sensation of smell
olfactory bulbs
areas of the brain located just above the sinus cavity and just below the frontal lobes that receive information from the olfactory receptor cells
somesthetic senses
the body senses consisting of the skin senses, the kinesthetic sense, and the vestibular senses
skin senses
the sensation of touch, pressure, temperature, and pain
kinesthetic sense
sense of the location of body parts in relation to the ground and each other
vestibular senses
the senses of movement, balance, and body position
sensory conflict theory
an explanation of motion sickness in which the information from the eyes conflicts with the information from the vestibular senses, resulting in dizziness, nausea, and other physical discomfort
the method by which the sensations experienced at any given moment are interpreted and organized in some meaningful fashion
size constancy
the tendency to interpret an object as always be the same actual size, regardless of its distance
shape constancy
the tendency to interpret the shape of an object as being constant, even when its shape changes on the retina
brightness constancy
the tendency to perceive the apparent brightness of an object as the smae even when the light conditions change
the tendency to perceive objects or figures as existing on a background
reversible figures
visual illusions in which the figure and ground can be reversed
the tendency to perceive objects that are close to each other as part of the same grouping
the tendency to perceive things that look similar to each other as being part of the same group
the tendency to complete figures that are incomplete
the tendency to perceive things as simply as possible with a continuous pattern, rather than a complex, broken-up pattern
the tendency to perceive two things that happen close together in time as being related
depth perception
the ability to perceive the world in three dimensions
monocular cues
also known as pictoral depth cues; cues for perceiving depth based on one eye only
binocular cues
cues for perceiving depth based on both eyes
linear perspective
the tendency for parallel lines to appear to converge on each other
relative size
perception that occurs when objects that a person expects to be of a certain size appear to be small and are, therefore, assumed to be much farther away
also known as interposition; the assumption that an object that appears to be blocking part of another object is in front of the second object an closer to the viewer
aerial perspective
also known as atmospheric perspective; the haziness that surrounds objects that are farther away from the view, causing the distance to be perceived as greater
texture gradient
the tendency for textured surfaces to appear to become smaller and finer as distance from the viewer increases
motion parallax
the perception of motion of objects in which close objects appear to move more quickly than objects that are farther away
as a monocular cue, the brain's use of information about the changing thickness of the lens of the eye in response to looking at objects that are close or far away
the rotation of the two eyes in their sockets to focus on a single object, resulting in greater convergence for closer objects and lesser convergence if objects are distant
binocular disparity
the difference in images between the two eyes, which is greater for objects that are close and smaller for distant objects
Muller-Lyer illusion
illusion of line length that is distorted by inward-turning or outward-turning corners on the ends of the lines, causing lines of equal length to appear to be different
perceptual set
also known as perceptual expectancy; the tendency to perceive things a certain way because previous experiences or expectations influence those perceptions
top-down processing
the use of preexisting knowledge to organize individual features into a unified whole
bottom-up processing
the analysis of the smaller features to build up to a complete perception
integrated experience of sensations
sensory receptors
special neurons used for sensation
happens in the brain; ability to ignore constant stimuli
happens in the sensory receptor cells; sensory cells stop responding to a constant stimuli
sound waves
vibrating molecules of air