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Psych Ch. 4
Terms in this set (75)
Conversion of energy from the environment into a pattern of response by the nervous system. It is the registration of information.
Ex: light rays striking your eyes
The interpretation of a given sensation.
Ex: the experience of recognizing your roommate
Energies from the world around us that effect us in some way.
Specialized cells that convert environmental energies into signals for the nervous system. Our eyes, ears, and other sensory organs are packed with receptors.
The continuum of all frequencies of radiated energy from gamma rays and x-rays (very short wavelengths) through ultraviolet, visible light, and infrared, to radio and TV transmissions (very long wavelengths).
Light is visible only because our receptors respond to wavelengths from 400-700 nm.
An adjustable opening that widens/narrows to control the amount of light entering the eye. When we see something, light is reflected from the object and passed through the pupil.
The colored structure on the surface of the eye surrounding the pupil.
Light passes through the pupil and travels through the ______ to strike the retina.
Vitreous humor (which is a clear jellylike substance)
A layer of visual receptors covering the back surface of the eyeball.
What focuses light on the retina?
The cornea & lens
A rigid transparent structure on the surface of the eyeball. Always focuses light in the same way.
A flexible structure that varies its thickness. Enables the eye to accommodate/adjust its focus for objects at different distances.
Distant object: lens becomes thinner/flatter
Close object: lens become thicker/rounder
The central area of the human retina. Has the greatest density of receptors, thus is the area for detailed vision.
As people grow older, the lens becomes more rigid. How would this rigidity affect vision?
The rigidity makes people less able to change their focus at different distances. In particular, it is more difficult to focus on close objects.
What area of vision are cones adapted for?
Color vision, daytime vision, and detailed vision.
# of types: 3
What area of vision are rods adapted for?
Vision in dim light.
# of types: 1
The proportion of cones rises toward the center of the ______.
The proportion of rods rises towards the ______.
The fovea consists solely of ______.
Gradual improvement in the ability to see in dim light.
How does dark adaptation work?
In moderate light, visual receptors regenerate retinaldehyde molecules no faster than the light keeps breaking them down. However, in the dim light, receptors regenerate their molecules without competition (due to the little amount of light entering the eye), thus improving detection of faint light.
After you have thoroughly adapted to extremely dim light, will you see more objects in your fovea or in the periphery of you eye?
The periphery because it contains an abundant amount of rods that specialize in seeing in dim light. The fovea only contains cones, which does not become as sensitive as the rods in the periphery because they specialize in seeing color and detail.
The visual pathway
1. The visual receptors send impulses to the bipolar cells in the center of the eye.
2. The bipolar cells contact the ganglion cells.
3. The axons from the ganglion cells join to form the optic nerve, which turns around and exits the eye.
4. Half of each optic nerve crosses to the opposite side of the brain at the optic chiasm.
5. Most of the optic nerve goes to the thalamus, which sends information to the primary visual cortex in the occipital lobe.
Those with thicker optic nerves are better at detecting what?
Faint lights/tiny movements.
The retinal area where the optic nerve exits is called the ______.
Why: the part of the retina has no room for receptors bc the exiting axons take up all the space.
Color vision depends on the response rates of three types of cones. One type is sensitive to short wavelengths (which we usually see as blue), another to medium (green), and another to long (red).
We perceive color in terms of paired opposites:
red vs. green
yellow vs. blue
white vs. black
The tendency of an object to appear nearly the same color under a variety of lighting conditions.
The cerebral cortex compares the patterns of light coming from different parts of the retina and synthesizes a color perception for each area.
Color is something our brain constructs, not a property of light itself.
Summary of the 3 theories
1.The trichromatic theory states that human color vision starts with three kinds of cones.
2. The opponent-process theory explains how later cells organize color information.
3.The retinex theory notes that the cerebral cortex compares color information from various parts of the visual field.
What is the technical name of the ear?
Vibrations of the air, water, or other medium.
The _______ of a sound wave is the number of cycles (vibrations) per second.
What is pitch?
Perception closely related to frequency.
High-frequency sound wave: high pitch
Low-frequency sound wave: low pitched
A perception that depends on the amplitude (intensity) of sound waves.
Where the ear converts weak sound waves into more intense waves of pressure. Fluid-filled canals in this snail-shaped organ contain the receptors for hearing.
Process of hearing
1. Sound waves strike the eardrum
2. These weak vibrations travel through the malleus, incus, and stapes and transform into stronger vibrations.
3. The stapes transmits the vibrations to the fluid-filled cochlea, where the vibrations displace hair cells along the basilar membrane in the cochlea.
5. These hair cells connect to neurons whose axons form the auditory nerve, which transmits impulses to the brain areas responsible for hearing.
Results when the bones connected to the eardrum fail to transmit sound waves properly to the cochlea. Surgery can correct conduction deafness by removing whatever is obstructing the bones' movement.
Results from damage to the cochlea, hair cells, or auditory nerve. Disease, heredity, and exposure to loud noises are common causes of nerve deafness.
A sound wave through the fluid of the cochlea vibrates all the hair cells, which produce action potentials in synchrony w the sound waves.
Ex: a sound @ a frequency of 50 Hz makes each hair cell send the brain 50 impulses per second.
Idea that "volleys" of hair cells (groups) respond to sound vibrations.
The idea that the highest frequency sounds vibrate hair cells near the stiff up end, and lower frequency sounds vibrate hair cells at points farther along the membrane.
The tilt and acceleration of the head, and the orientation of the head w respect to gravity. Enables a person to keep their eyes fixated on a target as their head moves.
The vestibular sense plays a key role in what?
Posture and balance.
Intense vestibular sensations are responsible for what?
What does the vestibular system consist of?
Three semicircular canals oriented in different directions as well as two otolith organs.
Lined w hair cells and filled w a jelly-like substance. When the body accelerates in any direction, the jelly-like substance in the corresponding canal pushes against the hair cells, which send messages to the brain.
Contain hair cells. Depending on which way the head tilts, the particles excite different sets of hair cells. The otolith organs report the direction of gravity and therefore which way is up.
The anterior cingulate cortex is responsible for what?
The emotional aspect of pain.
idea that pain messages must pass through a gate, presumably in the spinal cord, that can block the messages.
neurotransmitters that weaken pain sensations.
Chemical that stimulates receptors that respond to painful heat. It decreases pain because it releases pain transmitters faster than the neurons can re-synthesize them.
Phenomenon involving continuing sensations, including pain, in a limb long after it has been amputated.
What does taste detect?
Chemicals on the tongue which govern eating and drinking.
What are the taste receptors?
Taste buds, which are located in the folds on the surface of the tongue.
Sense of smell.
Where are the olfactory receptors located?
The mucous membrane in the rear air passage of the nose.
Pathway of olfaction
1. Stimulus molecules attach to receptors.
2. Receptors convert the energy of a chemical reaction into action potentials.
3. The spatial and temporal pattern of nerve impulses represents the stimulus in some meaningful way.
A condition in which a stimulus of one type, such as a sound, also elicits another experience, such as color.
Ex: one might experience particular letters or numbers as having a color.
Absolute sensory threshold
The intensity at which a given individual detects a stimulus 50% of the time.
study of people's tendencies to make hits, correct rejections, misses, and false alarms.
Idea that stimuli sometimes influence our behavior even when they are presented so faintly or briefly that we do not perceive them consciously.
Subliminal perception summary
Subliminal perception effects emerge only as small changes in average performance. However, the fact that such effects occur at all demonstrates the possibility of unconscious influences.
The increase or decrease in an object's apparent brightness by comparison to objects around it.
Specialized neurons in the visual cortex that respond to the presence of simple features, such as lines and angles.
A field that emphasizes perception of overall patterns. Applies to vision as well as hearing.
Tiny elements combine to produce larger items.
"We see and then interpret what we see."
Process in which you apply your experience and expectations to interpret each item in context.
"What we interpret determines what we see."
Tendency to perceive objects as keeping their shape, size, and color, despite distortions in the actual pattern reaching the retina.
A phenomenon in which you incorrectly perceive the object as moving.
An illusion of movement created by a rapid succession of stationary images.
The perception of distance. Enables us to experience the world in three dimensions.
The difference in apparent position of an object as seen by the left and right retinas.
Misinterpretation of a visual stimulus, often due to one's perception of depth.
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