Sensation and Perception Vocabulary with Mnemonic Devices and Examples

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It is the process where a sensory receptor is stimulated, so it produces neural impulses that the brain understands as an odor, pain, taste, sound, visual image, or other kind of sensory image. It is the first series of steps that help with processing new incoming messages.

Sensation is when a sensory receptor is stimulated, so some kind of sense is produced as a result.
It is the process that finds meaning in sensory patterns. It uses emotions, motivation, memories, and other psychological processes to do this. It assigns meaning to these patterns.

An example of how perception is used would be how our brains understand the meaning of words rather than looking at them as a random visual pattern.
It is when one energy form is converted into another. In this case it is how the sense organs transform stimulus information into nerve signals. It is the conversion of physical energy into neural messages.

An example of transduction is how sound waves are sent when a piano is playing and then they are turned into nerve signals for the brain to understand.
It refers to the receptor cells loss of responsiveness after there is an unchanged stimulation for a decent period of time. It allows the stimulation to move to the background and be less noticable.

An example of sensory adaptation would be when an individual gets into a cool pool and over time is able to forget the cool temperature.
It is the amount of a stimulus that is required to be able to detect. In practice, it means a stimulus is correctly detected 50% of the time through many trials. It is the amount of physical energy necessary to produce any sensory experience.

Absolute thresholds tell us how soft music can be played for it to still be heard.
It explains how we detect "signals" consisting of stimulation that affects our sense organs. It says sensation is a judgement and the sensory system is what makes it about incoming stimulation. It usually occurs outside consciousness and takes into account observer characteristics.

Signal detection theory suggests a more accurate sensation than class psychophysics.
They are light-sensitive neurons or cells that can be found in the retina. They take light energy and convert it into neural impulses. They are the furthest that light can get into the visual system. They consist of two specific neurons, being cones and rods.

Photoreceptors work in the same way as small pixel receptors in a camera.
RodsThey are a kind of photoreceptor in the retina. They are rod-shaped structures that are very sensitive to dim lights, but not to color. we have about 125 million of them to detect low light intensities at night. An example of when we use our rods would be when we are trying to find our seat in a dark movie theater.ConesThey are the other photoreceptors found in the retina. They are cone-shaped structures that are not very sensitive to dim light, but are to colors. They work in bright lights to help us sense lightwaves as green, blue, or red. Our cones enable us to pick ripe tomatoes (red) at the story, rather than unripe ones (green).FoveaIt is the small area in the retina that controls an individual's sharpest vision. It is in the very center of the retina and cones concentrate there also. It is used with the eyeball's movement to scan and look at what is most visually interesting to a person. The fovea may attract our vision to pretty flowers or to the features of a face.Optic NerveIt is made of bundles of neurons that help to move visual information to the brain from the retina. It takes the visual information from the eye to the brain. The ganglion cells axons make it up. The optic nerve takes visual information from the eye to the brain (part of the central nervous system).Blind SpotIt has no photoreceptors, causing any stimulus that falls on the area to go unseen. It is where the optic nerve exits the eye. With normal vision, this area goes unnoticed because what one eye lacks, the other tries to make up (fill-in) based on the background and it's information. The blind spot has no photoreceptors causing an area to go unseen.BrightnessIt is a psychological sensation that occurs because of the intensity of light waves. It is the amplitude of light that is determined by the amount of light that makes it to the retina. It is decided by the level of neural activity created in the retina and moved through the optic passages. Brightness allows for approaching headlights to create more neural activity in the retina.ColorIt is also known as hue and it is not a property of an object in the external world. It is rather a psychological sensation that is created based on the wavelengths of visible light seen by the eyes and sent as information to the brain. Color Only Lives inside Our bRainsElectromagnetic SpectrumIt includes the whole entire range of electromagnetic energy. It is very vast and includes visible light, X-Rays, microwaves, as well as radio waves. The electromagnetic spectrum is the entire range of electromagnetic energy.Visible SpectrumIt is the small part of the electromagnetic spectrum where our eyes are very sensitive. For other creatures, they may be slightly different from ours. It is like a small visual "window".Trichromatic TheoryIt is the idea that hues/colors are sensed by three different kinds of cones that are sensitive to light in green, red, and blue wavelengths. It explains the first and earliest stage of color sensation. Tri - Three The trichromatic theory involves blue, green, and read wavelengths (3).Opponent-Process TheoryIt is the idea that visual system cells process colors in pairs of complementary colors. It explains color sensation for bipolar cells in the visual system. The opponent-process theory says we process complimentary colors together like red and green and yellow and blue.AfterimagesThey are sensations that stay behind (linger) after a stimulus has been removed. They are usually negative and appear as reversed colors of the original ones. Afterimages are the sensations that linger after a stimulus has been removed.ColorblindnessIt is sometimes a result of trauma, but is usually caused by a genetic disorder. It prevents someone from being able to discern certain colors. It is most common to see in red-green colors.FrequencyIt is the quantity (amount) of cycles completed by a sound wave in a given amount of time, usually in a second. It is usually measured in hertz (Hz) or cycles per second (cps). Frequency measures how frequently a sound wave cycles in a specific amount of time.AmplitudeIt refers to a wave's physical strength. It is usually measured on a graph of a wave, between the top (peak) to the bottom (valley) of the wave. It is defined in sound units. Amplitude is decreased when you turn down your radio's volume.Tympanic MembraneIt is simply the eardrum. It is a tightly stretched sheet made of tissue. The tympanic membrane is called my eardrum.CochleaIt is the main organ involved in hearing. It is a coiled tube that can be found in the inner part of the ear. It is where sound waves are transduced or converted into nerve messages. The cochlea is the main organ involved in hearing.Basilar MembraneIt is a thin tissue strip in the cochlea that is very sensitive to vibrations. Within it are hairs that connect to the neurons. When these hair cells vibrate from a sound wave, their associated neurons get excited. Due to this, sound waves are transduced into nerve activity.PitchIt is a sensory characteristic of sound that is produced by a sound wave's frequency. It's frequency determines its pitch. It is the highness or lowness of a sound. Low Frequency - Low Pitch High Frequency - High PitchLoudnessIt is a sensory characteristic of sound that is created/produced by a sound wave's intensity (amplitude). It is determined by its physical strength. Shout - Louder Whisper - Less LoudTimbreIt is a sound wave's quality that comes from it's complexity (mixture of pure tones). It means drum in Greek. It allows you to recognize different singers singing the same song.Conduction DeafnessIt is when an individual is unable to hear due to damaging structures in the inner ear or the middle ear. It usually occurs when these structures are damaged or a sound is very loud or too loud.Nerve DeafnessIt is also known as sensorineural deafness and it is when an individual is unable to hear because the body is unable to transmit nerve impulses to the brain from the cochlea. It usually involves higher auditory processing centers or the auditory nerve.Vestibular SenseIt is the body's sense of it's orientation in relation to gravity. It is carried on an auditory nerve branch to the brain. It is closely associated to the inner ear and it tells us hour our heads and bodies are positioned. It tells us how our motion is changing and informs us of our movement. Our vestibular sense allows us to know when we are upside down or leaning.Kinesthetic SenseIt is the body's sense of it's relation between its position and its movement of its parts. It is also called kinesthesis. It provides constant feedback of the senses and what the body is doing during it's motor activities. Our kinesthetic sense allows us to be aware of when our legs are crossed.OlfactionIt is simply our sense of smell. It involved a biochemical chain of events. It had a strong connection to memories in humans. It likely evolved earlier than the other senses and is the only sense that does not go through the thalamus.PheromonesThey are the chemical signals that are sent out or released by individuals to communicate with other members of their species. Animals use them as sexual attractants. It is not clear if people do or do not employ them. Dogs have pheromones in their urine that allow them to communicate with other dogs.GustationIt is simply the sense of taste. It has the same root as "gusto", which is known as the gustatory sense also. Gaston uses his gustation to taste his 5 dozen eggs he eats everyday.Skin SensesThey are sensory systems that work to process pain, texture, warmth, cold, and touch. They are connected to the somatosensory cortex in the parietal lobes. Skin senses allow us to feel touch when we make external contact with another individual.Gate-Control TheoryIt is an explanation for pain control. It says we have a neural "gate" that can, in specific times, block incoming signals of pain.Placebo EffectIt is an individual's response to a fake drug or a false drug (placebo). It is caused by the belief a subject had that they think they are taking the real drug.PerceptIt is the product of perception (it's meaning). It is what an individual perceives. Percept can be an image associated with memories, motives, concepts, and emotions.Feature DetectorsThey are brain cells in the cortex that work to extract specific features of a stimulus.Binding ProblemIt is relative to the process the brain utilizes to combine multiple sensory operations into one percept. We don't know how it happens. The binding problem would be how we put together a face by color, texture, shape, etc.Bottom-Up ProcessingIt is perceptual analysis that looks at a stimulus' characteristics.Top-Down ProcessingIt is perceptual analysis that looks at an individual's cognitive factors, like their memories, expectations, etc.Perceptual ConstancyIt refers to being able to identify the same thing as remaining "constant" (the same) under different conditions (angles, lighting, distance, and location). Perceptual constancy is how we see a flower as the same color at sunrise and during the day.Gestalt PsychologyIt says perception is shaped by innate factors that have previously been built into the brain. Gestalt - Whole Gestalt psychology says all of the raw stimuli makes a perceptual whole in the brain.Laws of Perceptual GroupingIt suggests that the brain usually groups stimulus elements together to create a percept. They are the Gestalt principles of common fate, proximity, continuity, and similarity.Law of SimilarityIt is a Gestalt principle that says people group similar things together in their perception. Blue and White Football Uniforms = Penn StateLaw of ProximityIt is a Gestalt principle that says we group together things near each other. You're known by the company you keep.Law of ContinuityIt is a Gestalt principle that says we like and prefer connected and continuous figures to be perceived rather than disjointed and disconnected ones. We expect people to be the same even after not seeing them for a while.Law of Common FateIt is a Gestalt principle that says we usually group similar objects together that share the same destination or motion. When individual band members are all moving we see them as a whole (Gestalt).Law of PragnanzIt is the most simple Gestalt principle and it says the figure that emerges will have the most simple organization and will require the least amount of cognitive effort. A bird in the the hand.Perceptual SetIt is being ready to detect and point out a specific stimulus in a certain context. When you are scared and hear a sound at night and think it's a threat.Cocktail Party EffectIt is when an individual is able to hear one voice among a large amount of other voices. It is what allows you to instantly hear your name in a sea of other voices.Inattentional BlindnessIt is being unable to see visible objects when we are directing our attention somewhere else.Change BlindnessIt is being unable to notice environment changes. It is like if someone is talking to another person and then someone walks by with a door and the person behind the door switches and the person they were talking to did not notice.Choice BlindnessIt is failing to notice choices made; it usually occurs because of not paying enough attention. An example of this would be if you ordered a grilled cheese and then received a pizza and didn't realize until halfway through eating your meal.Change DeafnessIt is when the person speaking changes, usually if the gender of the voice changes it is noticeable however.SubliminalIt is anything that is underneath an individual's threshold.HueIt is the color perceivedCorneaIt is the clear outer layer that protects the eyePupilIt is the opening at the center of the eye that adjusts and lets light in. If your pupil gets small, it means there is a bright light so it does this to prevent your retina from burning up.IrisIt is a muscle and is the colored part of the eye that controls the opening size of the pupil. It expands and contracts to let light in or keep it out.LensIt is a structure found behind the pupil and it bends light in order to focus it onto the retina. The lens bends.AccommodationIt is the process where the lens bends light onto the retina so the image can be focused.Bipolar CellsThey are activated by stimulation from the rods and/or cones and they then activate Ganglion cells. Bi - Two Bipolar cells get information from both the rods and cones.Ganglion CellsThey are activated by bipolar cells and then their axons mix together to create and form the optic nerve. Gangly - Tall, awkward, and long Ganglion cells are long, awkward, and skinny and they combine to form the optic nerve.Hubel and WieselThey discovered feature detectors. They put cats in sensory deprivation tanks and made them have their kittens inside them. Then if the kittens grew up in those tanks and only saw horizontal stripe and then were exposed to vertical stripes they would not react because they had never seen them before. They said this happened because of these hypersensitive cells that responded to certain features, like there would be one for edges, one for stripes, one for diagonals, etc.Parallel ProcessingIt is the ability to process multiple different things (aspects) simultaneously (at the same time). It can allow you to see motion, color, depth, and form all at once. There is a woman who has an issue with her motion parallel processing area so she doesn't see things moving she sees things in like blurry pictures.Middle Ear (Hammer, Anvil, Stirrup)It is a pressurized chamber that is able to concentrate the vibrations from the ear drum onto the oval window, it is made of three ossicles. The hammer is attached to the eardrum so when it vibrates, it hits the anvil, which hits the stirrup, which connects to the next thing.Oval WindowIt is the cochlea's membrane covering the opening, it comes after the middle ear.Auditory NerveIt is the area of the ear that carries neural messages to the thalamus in the brain and then to the auditory cortex.Inner EarIt is anything passed the cochlea and it contains the cochlea, vestibular sacs, and semicircular canals. They help with many things such as balance.Semicircular CanalsIt holds fluid that helps the body to sense it's movements and balance. It is like your body vs. your body. It is like an hourglass, if you flip it upside down the sand (fluid) will move.Vestibular SacsThey contain crystals of calcium that help to send information about balance to the thalamus and then to the cerebellum. It is your body vs. gravity. They are behind the semicircular canals. They allow people to know if they are upright, spinning, upside down, etc.Place TheoryIt says that individuals hear varying pitches depending on where the sound hits the basilar membrane of the cochlea. The brain would decide the pitch based on where it was stimulated. It explains high pitches, but not low pitches. It would be like frequency would be high if there were big vibrations near the start of the membrane, where localization would be easy. If it were low frequency the entire membrane would vibrate and it would be difficult to locate.Frequency TheoryIt says that the rate of the nerve impulses that are traveling up the auditory nerve would match that tone's frequency. It explains low pitches well, but not high pitches. It would be dependent on how many times a neuron fires.Volley PrincipleIt is the idea that neurons fire in alternating bursts in order to cover and account for frequencies that are above 1,000 waves/second. It says neurons volley in a row and team up to combine and mix to match the soundwave.Phantom Limb SensationsIt is experienced by amputees who lose a limb, it is when the brain misinterprets spontaneous stimulation of the central nervous system as a sensory input. It is when there is activity in the sensory cortex area where or near where the limb was located. An example would be if an individual lost sight, but is still able to have hallucinations.Olfactory Nerve/Olfactory BulbIt is a bunch of combining axons from the olfactory membrane that form to create it and then it sends the impulse to the other area in the frontal/temporal lobes.Embodied CognitionIt is the influence of physical body gestures, sensations, emortions, and other preference and judgement states. It would be like if you sit on a wobbly chair, you would rate the relationship with the person you are sitting with as being unstable.SynesthesiaIt is when an individual has one of their senses become triggered (stimulated) and then they experience another sense. It occurs because the circuitry in the brain for two senses end up wired together. It is seen more in children before puberty. It would be like if someone hear a song and it triggered them to see certain colors.Visual CliffIt is used to test an individual's depth perception. It was where there was a checkered pattern right under the glass and another area where the pattern was on the floor, so it appeared there was a sharp drop off.Gibson and WalkThey used a visual cliff to test if baby animals and human infants would walk over a clear pane of glass. They found that infants from 6-14 months old would not crawl over the visual cliff and they found that by the time an individual is crawling or moving, they can perceive depth.Binocular CuesThey are depth cues that require and depend on the use of both eyes. Bi - 2 Binocular cues need to use both eyes.ConvergenceIt is a binocular depth cue that includes the eye muscles movement inwards, the brain interprets this movement as something being closer. If something is getting close, you have to move your eye muscles inward.Retinal DisparityIt is a binocular depth cue that says the bigger the difference or disparity between the two images in the brain, the closer the object is to us. Because the eyes are around 2.5 inches apart, they see somewhat different pictures so the closer things get the more of a difference there will be between the images of the two eyes (in the retina). If there is more distance between you and an object there will be essentially the same image between the two eyes.Monocular CuesThey only require the use of one eye. It is available to each eye separately and they can be very helpful for things far away. Mono - 1 Monocular depth cues only require the use of one eye.Relative HeightIt is a monocular depth cue that says that objects that are higher in an individual's field of vision are perceived as being further away from them. When looking at the skyline in the city, with the buildings and the sky, the sky is higher in the visual field, so it appears to be farther away.Relative SizeIt is a monocular depth cue that says that objects that are bigger are perceived as being closer, while smaller objects are perceived as being further away. If a ball is coming at you, it is big so it is perceived as being close.InterpositionIt is a monocular depth cue that says if there is one object and it blocks the view of another object, the one that is blocking the other is seen as being closer.Linear PerspectiveIt is a monocular depth cue that says that parallel lines look like they meet up in the distance, the sharper the angle of convergence between the lines, the farther and greater the perceived distance. If you stand on a railroad you will see the tracks in the very far distance appear to meet up, which allows an individual to perceive greater distance.Texture GradientIt is a monocular depth cue sometimes called relative clarity, and it says if there is more texture on something and it is less dense, then it is closer. It also says if something is more dense and blurry, then it is further away.Relative MotionIt is a monocular depth cue that is also known as motion parallax, and it says when an individual is moving and staring at one point, objects that are moving faster seem to appear further away, while objects that are moving slower are perceived to be closer.Stroboscopic MovementIt is a rapid series of very slightly varying pictures or images and these changes are perceived as movement and motion. An example of this would be the old early animation, like Steamboat Willie.Phi PhenomenonIt is at minimum two adjacent lights that blink on and off in quick succession so that movement and motion are perceived. There is a circle of dots where one dot turns off for a second and then the next dot turns off for a second and so on. It appears however that the circle is moving when it is just the dots turning on and off in quick succession.