Psyc Chapter 6 - sensing the world

  1. Sensation
    The process that our sensory receptors and nervous system receive and represent energies from our environment.
  2. Perception
    • the process of organizing and interpreting sensory information
    • -enables us to recognize meaningful objects and events
  3. bottom up processing
    analysis that begins with the sensory receptors and works u[p to the brain's intergration of sensory info.
  4. top-down processing
    • information processing guided by higher level mental processes.
    • Construct perceptions drawing on our experience and expectations.
  5. psychophysics
    the study of relationships between the physical characteristics of stimuli, such as their intensity, and our experience of them
  6. absolute thresholds
    the minimum stimulation needed to detect a particular stimulus 50 percent of the time.
  7. signal detection theory
    a theory predicting how and when we detect the presence of a faint signal among background noise.
  8. subliminal
    below ones absolute threshold for conscious awareness.
  9. priming
    • the activation, unconsciously, of certain associations. Memory of response.
    • -much of our info processing occurs automatically off the map of our conscious mind.
  10. difference threshold
    • also called the noticeable difference.
    • -minimum difference a person can detect between any two stimuli half the time.
  11. Weber's Law
    • Two stimuli must differ by a constant proportion, not a constant amount.
    • two lights - differ by an 8 percent intensity
    • two objects - differ in weight by 2 percent
    • two tones - frequency by 0.3 percent
  12. Sensory adaption
    diminishing sensitivity to an unchanging stimulus.
  13. transduction
    conversion of one form of energy into another. In sensations, the transforming of stimulus energies such as sights, sounds, and smells, into neural impulses our brain can interpret.
  14. Electromagnetic spectrum
    lights visible to humans.
  15. wavelength
    the distance from the peak of one light or sound wave to the peak of the next.
  16. hue
    the dimension of color that is determined by the wavelength of light.
  17. intensity
    the amount of energy in a light or sound wave, which we perceive as brightness or loudness. Determined by waves amplitude.
  18. pupil
    the adjustable opening in the center of the eye through which light enters.
  19. iris
    A ring of muscle tissue that forms the colored portion of the eye around the pupil. Controls the size of the pupil.
  20. lens
    the transparent structure behind the pupil that changes shape to help focus images on the retina.
  21. retina
    the light sensitive inner surface of the eye, containing the receptor rodds and cones plus layers of neurons that begin the processing of visual information.
  22. accomodation
    the process by which the eye's lens changes shape to focus near or far objects on the retina.
  23. rods
    retinal receptors that detect black, white, and gray; necessary for peripheral and twilight vision when cones don't respond.
  24. cones
    retinal receptors that are 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.
  25. optic nerve
    the nerve that carries neural impulses from the eye to the brain.
  26. blind spot
    the point at which the optic nerve leaves the eye, creating a "blind spot" because no receptor cells are there.
  27. fovea
    the central focal point in the retina, around which the eye's cones cluster.
  28. feature detectors
    nerve cells in the brain that respond to specific features of the stimulus, such as shape, angle, or movement.
  29. parallel processing
    brains ability to do many things at once.
  30. Young-Helmholtz trichomatic (three color) theory.
    the theory that the retina contains three different color receptors, one most sensitive to red, one to green, one to blue, when combined can produce any color.
  31. opponent-process theory
    the theory that opposing retinal processes enable color vision.
  32. audition
    the sense or act of hearing.
  33. frequency
    the number of complete wavelengths that pass a point in a given time.
  34. pitch
    • a tone's experienced highness or lowness
    • -depends on frequency
  35. middle ear
    the chamber between the eardrum and cochlea containing three tiny bones; the hammer, anvil, and stirrup.
  36. cochlea
    a coiled, bony fluid filled tube through which sound waves trigger nerve impulses.
  37. inner ear
    the innermost part of the ear containing the cochlea, semicircular canals, and vestibular sacs
  38. place theory
    in hearing, the theory that links the pitch we hear with the place where the cochlea's membrane is stimulated.
  39. frequency theory
    in hearing, the theory that the rate of nerve impulses traveling up the auditory nerve matches the frequency of the tone.
  40. conduction hearing loss
    hearing loss caused by damage to the eardrum or tiny bones, diminishing the the ear's ability to conduct vibrations
  41. sensorineural hearing loss
    • also called nerve deafness
    • -due to exposure to prolonged loud music, aging.
  42. cochlear implant
    a device for converting sounds into electrical signals by simulating the auditory nerves through electrodes put into the cochlea.
  43. kinestheses
    the system for sensing position and movement of individual body parts.
  44. vestibular sense
    • monitors your head and also your body's position and movement.
    • -equilibrium of the ear
    • -keeps you balanced
  45. semicircular canals,
    three-dimensional pretzel in your ear
  46. vestibular sacs
    • connect the canals with the cochlea
    • -contains fluid that moves when your head rotates or tilts.
    • -this movement stimulates receptors and sends messages to the cerebellum enabling body to maintain balance
  47. gate control theory
    • spinal chord contains a neurological gate that blocks pain signals or allows them to pass by.
    • -pain signals travel small nerve fibers
  48. sensory interaction
    the principle that one sense may influence another
  49. gestalt
    • an organized whole
    • integrating pieces of information into meaningful wholes
Card Set
Psyc Chapter 6 - sensing the world
psyc chap 6