chapter 4 terms

  1. sensation
    the process of receiving stimulus energies from the external environment and transforming those energies into neural energy
  2. perception
    the process of organizing and interpreting sensory information so that it has meaning
  3. bottom-up processing
    the operation in sensation and perception in which sensory receptors register information about the external environment and sent it up to the brain for interpretation
  4. top-down processing
    the operation in sensation and perception, launched by cognitive processing at the brain's higher levels, that allows the organism to sense what is happening and to apply that framework to information from the world
  5. snesory receptors
    specialized cells that detect stimulus information and transmit it to sensory (afferent) nerves of the brain
  6. absolute threshold
    the minimum amount of stimulus energy that a person can detect
  7. noise
    irrelevant and competing stimuli-not only sounds but also any distracting stimuli for our senses
  8. difference threshold
    the degree of difference that must exist between two stimuli before the difference is detected
  9. wweber's law
    the principle that two stimuli must differ by a constant minimum percentage to be perceived as different
  10. subliminal perception
    the detection of information below the level of conscious awareness.
  11. signal detection theory
    a theory of perception that focuses on decision making about stimuli in the presence of uncertainty
  12. attention
    the process of focusing awareness on a narrowed aspect of the enviornment
  13. selective attention
    the process of focusing on speceific aspect of experience while ignoring others
  14. perceptual set
    a predisposition or readiness to perceive something in a particular way
  15. sensory adaptation
    a change in the responsiveness of the sensory system based on the average level of surrounding stimuli
  16. retina
    the multilayered light-sensitive surface in the eye that records electromagnetic energy and converts it to neural impulses for processing in the brain
  17. rods
    the receptor cells in the retina that are sensitive ot light but not very useful for color vision
  18. cones
    the receptor cells in the retina that allow for color perception
  19. optic nerve
    the structure at the back on the eye, made up of axons of the ganglion cells, that carries visual information to the brain for further processing
  20. feature detectors
    neurons in the brain's visual system that resppond to particular features of a stimulus
  21. parallel processing
    the simultaneous distribution of information across different neural pathways
  22. binding
    in the sense of vision, the bringing together and integration of what is processed by different neural pathways or cells
  23. trichromatic theory
    theory stating that color perception is produced by three types of cone receptors in the retina that are particularly sensitive to different, but overlapping, ranges of wavelengths
  24. opponent-process theory
    theory stating that cells in the visual system respond to complementary pairs of red-green and blue-yellow colors; given cell might be excited by red and inhibited by green, whereas another cell might be excited by yellow and inhibited by blue
  25. figure-ground relationship
    the principle by which we organize the perceptual field into stimuli that stand out (figure) and those that are lef over (ground)
  26. gestalt psychology
    a school of thought interested in how people naturally organize their perceptions according to certain patterns
  27. depth perception
    the ability to perceive objects three-dimensionally
  28. binocular cues
    depth cues that depend on the combination of the images in the left and right eyes and on the way the two eyes work together
  29. convergence
    a binocular cue to depth and distance in which the muscle movements in our two eyes provide information about how deep and/or far away something is
  30. monocular cues
    powerful depth cues available from the image in one eye, either the right or the left
  31. apparent movement
    the perception that a stationary object is moving
  32. perceptual constancy
    the recognition that objects are constant and unchanging even though sensory input about them is changing
  33. outer ear
    the outermost part of the ear, consisting of the pinna and the external auditory canal
  34. middle ear
    the part of the ear that channels sound through the eardrum, hammer, anvil, and stirrup to the inner ear
  35. inner ear
    the part of the ear that includes the oval window, cochlea, and basilar membrane and whose function is to convert sound waves into neural impulses and send them to the brain
  36. place theory
    theory on how the inner ear registers the frequency of sound, stating that each frequency produces vibrations at a particular spot on the basilar membrane
  37. frequency theory
    theory on how the inner ear registers the frequency of sound, stating that the perception of a sound's frequency depends on how often the auditory nerve fires
  38. volley principle
    modification of frequency theory stating that a cluster of nerve cells can fire neural impulses in rapid succession, producing a volley of impulses
  39. auditory nerve
    the nerve structure that receives information about sound from the hair cells of the inner ear and carries these neural impulses to the brain's auditory areas
  40. thermoreceptors
    sonsory nerve endings under the skin that respond to changes in temperature at or near the skin and provide input to keep the body's temperature at 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit
  41. pain
    the sensation that warns us of damage to our bodies
  42. papillae
    rounded bumps above the tongue's surface that contain the taste buds, the receptors for taste
  43. olfactory epithelium
    the lining the roof of the nasal cavity, containing a sheet of receptor cells for smell
  44. kinesthetic senses
    senses that provide information about movement, posture, and orientation
  45. vestibular sense
    sense that provides information about balance and movement
  46. semicircular canals
    threee-fluid filled circular tubes in the inner ear containing the sensory receptors that detect head motion caused when we tilt or move our head and/or body
Card Set
chapter 4 terms