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a state of awareness, including a person's feelings, sensations, ideas, and perceptions

REM sleep

a stage of sleep characterized by rapid eye movements, a high level of brain activity, a deep relaxation of the muscles, and dreaming

circadian rhythm

the rhythm of activity and inactivity lasting approximately one day


the failure to get enough sleep at night in order to feel rested the next day

sleep apnea

a sleep disorder in which a person has trouble breathing while asleep


a condition characterized by suddenly falling asleep of feeling very sleepy throughout the day


unpleasant dreams

night terrors

sleep disruptions that occur during stage IV sleep, involving screaming, panic, or confusion


walking or carrying out behaviors while asleep


a state of consciousness resulting from a narrowed focus of attention and characterized by heightened suggestibility

posthypnotic suggestion

a suggestion made during hypnosis that influences the participants behavior afterward


the process of learning to control bodily states with the help of specialized machines


the focusing of attention to clear one's mind and produce relaxation

psychoactive drugs

chemicals that affect the nervous system and result in altered consciousness


the dried leaves and the flowers of indian help (cannabis sativa) that produce an altered state of conciousness when smoked or ingested


perceptions that have no direct external cause


drugs that often produce hallucinations


lysergiv acid diethylamide, a potent psychadelic drug that produces distortions of perception and thought


what occurs when a stimulus activates a receptor


any aspect of or change in the environment to which an organism responds


the organization of sensory information into meaningful experiences


the study of the relationships between sensory experiences and the physical stimuli that produces them

absolute threshold

the weakest amount of a stimulus that a person can detect half the time

difference threshold

the smallest change in a physical stimulus that can be detected between two stimuli

Weber's law

the principle that the larger or stronger a stimulus, the larger the change required for an observer to notive a difference

signal detection theory

the study of people's tendencies to make correct judgements in detecting the presence of stimuli

attentive process

a procedure that considers only one part of the stimuli presented at one time

preattentive process

a method for extracting information automativally ans simultaneously when presented with stimuli


the opening in the iris that regulates the amount of light entering the eye


a flexible, transparent structure in the eye that changes its shape to focus light on the retina


the innermost coating of the back of the eye, containing the light-sensitive receptor cells

optic nerve

the nerve that carries impulses from the retina to the brain

binocular fusion

the process of combining the images recieved from the two eyes into a single, fused image.

retinal disparity

the differences between the images stimulating each eye

auditory nerve

the nerve that carries impulses from the inner ear to the brain resulting in the sensation of sound

olfactory nerve

the nerve that carries smell impulses from the nose to the brain

vesitbular system

three semicircular canals that provide the sense of balance, located in the inner ear and connected to the brain by a nerve


the sense of movement and body position


the experience that comes from organizing bits and pieces of information into meaningful wholes

perceptual inference

filling in the gaps in what our senses tell us

subliminal messages

brief auditory or visual messages that are presented below the absolute threshold

subliminal perception

the ability to notice stimuli that affect only the unconscious mind

monecular depth cues

cues that can be used with a single eye

relative height

objects that appear farther away from another object are higher on your plane of view


overlapping of images causes us to view the object we can see in its entirety to be closer than one whose outline is interrupted by another object.

texture density gradient

the farther removed an object is, the less detail we can identify

motion parallax

the apparent movement of stationary objects relative to one another that occurs when the observer changes position


the tendency to percieve certain objects in the same way regardless of changing angle, distance, or lighting


perceptions that misrepresent physical stimuli

extrasensory perception (ESP)

an ability to gain information by some means other than the ordinary senses.

stage 1 sleep

pulse slows, muscles relzx, breathing becoms uneven, bnrain waves are irregular. "just drifting".

stage 2 sleep

eyes roll slowly from side to side, low frequency, high amplitude waves

stage 3 sleep

large amplitude delta waves sweep the brain every second

stage 4 sleep

deepest sleep, difficult to waken a sleeper. large regular delta waves occuring more than 50 percent of the time.

linear perspective

the appearance of things relative to one another as determined by their distance from the viewer


describing one kind of sensation in terms of another ("a loud color", "a sweet sound")


A measure of how high or low a sound is perceived to be, depending on the frequency of the sound wave

conduction deafness

hearing loss caused by damage to the mechanical system that conducts sound waves to the cochlea

sensorineural deafness

hearing loss caused by damage to the inner ear

gate control theory

theory that spinal cord contains neurological gate that blocks pains signals or allows them to pass. gate is opened by activity of pain going up small nerve fibers & gate is closed by act of large fibers or by info coming from brain


eyeball is too long, so objects are focused at a point slightly in front of the retina. you can see objects that are near but distant objects seem blurry.


eyeball is too short, so objects are focused at a poitn slightly behind the retina so that you can see distant objects clearly but near objects appear blurry.

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