Psych 101 chapter 6

  1. Sensation
    The process by which our sensory receptors and nervous system receive and represent stimulus energies from our environment
  2. Perception
    the process of organizing and interpreting sensory info, enabling us to recognize meaningful objects and events
  3. bottom-up processing
    analysis that begins with the sensory receptors and works up to the brain's integration of sensory information
  4. top-down processing
    info processing guided by higher level mental processes, as when we construct perceptions drawing  on our experience and expectations
  5. transduction
    conversion of one form of energy into another. in sensation, the transforming of stimulus energies such as sights, sounds, and smells, into neural impulses our brain can interpret
  6. psychophysics
    the study of relationships btw the physical characteristics of stimuli, such as their intensity, and our psychological experience of them
  7. absolute threshold
    the minimum simulation needed to detect a particular stimulus 50% of the time
  8. signal detection theory
    a theory predicting how and when we detect the presence of a faint stimulus (signal) amid background stimulation (noise). assumes there is no single absolute threshold and that detection depends partly on a person's experience, expectations, motivation and alertness
  9. subliminal
    below one's absolute threshold for conscious awareness
  10. subliminal messages
    words or pictures not consciously perceived but supposedly influence people's judgements, attitudes, and behaviors
  11. priming
    the activation, often unconsciously, of certain associations, thus predisposing one's perceptions, memory, or responses
  12. difference threshold
    the minimum difference between two stimuli required for detection 50% of the time.  we experience the difference threshold as a just noticeable difference (ind)
  13. weber's law
    the principle that, to be perceived as difference, two stimuli must differ by a constant minimum percentage (rather than a constant amount)
  14. sensory adaptation
    diminished sensitivity as a consequence of constant stimulation
  15. perceptual set
    a mental predisposition to perceive one thing and not another
  16. pupil
    adjustable opening in center of eye through which light enters
  17. iris
    a ring of muscle tissue (colored portion of eye) controls size of pupil opening
  18. lens
    transparent structure behind pupil that changes shape to help focus images on retina
  19. retina
    the light-sensitive inner surface of the eye, containing the receptor rods and cones plus layers of neurons that begin processing of visual info
  20. accommodation
    the process by which the lens changes shape to focus near or far objects on the retina
  21. rods
    retinal receptors that detect black, white, gray. necessary for peripheral and twilight vision when cones don't respond
  22. cones
    retinal receptors that area concentrated near the center of the retina and that function in daylight or in well-lit conditions.  the cones detect fine detail and give rise to color sensations
  23. optic nerve
    the nerve that carries neural impulses from eye to brain
  24. blind spot
    the point at which optic nerve leaves the eye, creating a "blind" spot because no receptor cells are located there
  25. fovea
    the central focus point in the retina, around which the eye's cones cluster
  26. feature detectors
    nerve cels in the brain that respond to specific features of the stimulus such as shape, angle, or movement
  27. parallel processing
    the processing of many aspects of a problem simultaneously, the brain's natural mode of info processing for many functions, including vision. contests ith the step-by-step (serial) processing of most computers and conscious problem solving
  28. retinal processing
    receptor rods and cones-->bipolar cells-->ganglion cells
  29. Young-hemholtz trichromatic (three color) theory
    the theory that the retina contains 3 different color receptors (red, blue, green) which when stimulated in combination can produce perception of any color
  30. opponent-process theory
    theory that opposing retinal process (red-green, yellow-blue, white-black) enable color vision.
  31. gestalt
    an organized whole.  Gestalt psychologists emphasized our tendency to integrate pieces of info into meaningful whole
  32. figure-ground
    the organization of visual field into objects (the figures) that stand out from their surroundings (the ground)
  33. grouping
    the perceptual tendency to organize stimuli into coherent groups
  34. depth perception
    ability to see objects in three dimensions although the images that strike retina are 2-d.  allows us to judge distance
  35. visual cliff
    laboratory device for testing depth perception in infants and young animals
  36. binocular cues
    depth cues, such as retinal disparity that depend on the use of two eyes
  37. retinal disparity
    a binocular cue for perceiving depth.  by comparing images from the retinas in the two eyes, the brain computes distance. greater disparity=closer object
  38. monocular clues (list)
    • relative height
    • relative motion
    • relative size
    • interposition
    • linear perspective
    • light and shadow
  39. monocular cues (definition)
    depth cues available to either eye alone
  40. phi phenomenon
    an illusion of movement created when two or more adjacent lights blink on and off in quick succession
  41. perceptual constancy
    perceiving objects as unchanging (having consistent shapes, sizes, brightness, and color) even as illumination and retinal images change
  42. color constancy
    perceiving familiar objects as having consistent color, even if changing illumination alters the wave-lengths reflected by the object
  43. perceptual adaptation
    in vision, ability to adjust an artificially displaced or even inverted visual field
  44. audition
    the sense or act of hearing
  45. frequency
    number of complete wavelengths that pass a point in a given time
  46. pitch
    a tone's experienced highness or lowness; depends on frequency
  47. middle ear
    chamber between eardrum and cochlea.  contains hammer, anvil, stirrup.  concentrates vibrations of eardrum on cochlea's oval window
  48. cochlea
    coiled bony fluid filled tube in inner ear.  sound waves trigger nerve impulses
  49. inner ear
    innermost part of ear containing cochlea, semicircular canals and vestibular sacs
  50. sensorineural hearing loss
    AKA nerve deafness.  damage to cochlea's receptor cells or to auditory nerves
  51. conduction hearing los
    damage to mechanical system that conducts sound waves to cochlea
  52. cochlear implant
    device which converts sounds into electrical signals , stimulates auditory nerve through electrodes threaded into cochlea
  53. place theory
    in hearing, theory that links pitch we hear with the place where the cochlea's membrane is stimulated
  54. frequency theory
    in hearing, theory that links rate of nerve impulses traveling up the auditory nerve matches the frequency of a tone, thus enabling us to sense its pitch
  55. gate-control theory
    the theory that the spinal cord contains a neurological "gate" that blocks pain signals or allows them to pass on to the brain.  The "gate" is opened by the activity of pain signals traveling up small nerve fibers and is closed by activity in larger fibers or by info coming from the brain
  56. sensory interaction
    the principle that one sense may influence another, as when the small of food influences its taste
  57. embodied connection
    in psychological science, the influence of bodily sensations, gestures, and other states on cognitive preferences and judgements
  58. kinesthesis
    the system for sensing position and movement of individual body parts
  59. vestibular sense
    the sense of body movement and position, including the sense of balance
Card Set
Psych 101 chapter 6
Chapters 6,7,8