Psych Midterm 1 - Sensory And Perception

Psych 100  
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detection of physical energy by sense organs, which then send information to the brain
the brain’s interpretation of raw sensory inputs
the process of converting an external energy or substance into neural activity
Sense receptor
specialized cell responsible for converting external stimuli into neural activity for specific sensory system
Absolute threshold
lowest level of stimulus needed for the nervous system to detect to change 50% of the time
Just noticeable difference (JND
smallest change in the intensity of a stimulus that we can detect
Subliminal persuasion
subthreshold influences over our product choices
Perceptual constancy
the process by which we perceive stimuli consistently across varied conditions
Signal detection theory
describes how we detect stimuli under certain conditions signal to noise ratio
Parallel Processing
ability to attend to many sense perceptions at once
Bottom-up Processing
processing in which the whole is constructed with parts
Top-Down Processing
processing driven by theory, beliefs or expectations
Perceptual Sets
sets formed when expectations influence perceptions
Perceptual Constancy
process by which we perceive stimuli consistently across varied conditions
Inattentional Blindness
failure to detect stimuli that are in plain sight when our attention is focused elsewhere Gorilla in the basketball video
Selective attention
process of selecting one sensory channel and ignoring or minimizing others
intensity of reflecting light that reaches our eyes
color of light
eye parts containing transparent cells that focus light on the retina
eye part that changes curvature to keep images in focus
changing the shape of the lends to focus on objects near or far
membrane at the back of the eye responsible for converting light into neural activity
central portion of the retina
sharpness of vision
receptor cells in the retina allowing us to see in low levels of light
Ganglion cells:
Only cells in the retinal circuit that contain axons
Blind spot
part of the visual field we can’t see because of the absence of rods and cones
Receptor cells in the retina allowing us to see in color
Optic nerve
contains the axons of ganglion cells; travels from the retina to the rest of the brain
Feature detection
ability to use certain minimal patterns to identify objects
Subjective contours
brains provide missing information about outlines
Gestalt principles
rules governing how we perceive objects as wholes within their own context
Objects physically close to each other tend to be seen as unified wholes
Similar objects are seen as comprising a whole
We still perceive objects as wholes, even if other objects block part of them
When partial visual information is present, the mind fills in what’s missing
we see objects that are symmetrically arranged as wholes
we make an instant decision to focus attention on what we think is the central figure and largely ignore what we think is the background
Trichromatic theory
ideas that color vision is based on our sensitivity to 3D colors
Color blindness
inability to see some or all colors
Motion blindness
a serious disorder in which patients can’t seamlessly string still images processed by their brains into the perception of ongoing motion
Depth perception
ability to judge distance and 3D relations
Monocular depth cues
stimuli that enable us to judge depth using only one eye
Binocular depth cues
stimuli that enable us to judge depth using both eyes
Moon illusion, Ames room, Muller-Lyer illusion, Ponzo illusion, horizontalvertical illusion, Ebbinghaus-Titchener illusion
Change blindness:
we are poor at detecting obvious changes in complex, moving scenes
condition in which people experience cross-modal sensations like hearing sounds when they see colors or even tasting colors
Visual agnosia
deficit in perceiving objects
when people with cortical blindness can make correct guesses about things in their environment, even when they can’t see them
our sense of hearing
frequency of the sound wave (higher frequency means higher pitch)
amplitude/height of the sound wave
quality/complexity of the sound
bony, spiral-shaped sense organ used for hearing
Organ of Corti:
tissue containing the hair cells needed for hearing
Basilar membrane
membrane supporting the organ of Corti and hair cells in the cochlea
Pitch perception
Place theory, frequency theory
Localization of sound
various brain centers localize sounds with respect to our bodies binaural cues, sound shadow
emitting sounds and listen to the echoes to determine their distance from a barrier

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