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Flashcards in Ch 5 Sensations Deck (55):
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Sensation

The process by which our sensory receptors and nervous system receive and represent stimulus energies from our environment

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Perception

The process of organizing and interpreting sensory info, enabling us to recognize meaningful objects and events

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Bottom up processing

Analysis that begins with the sensory receptors and works up to the brains integration of sensory info

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Top down processing

Info processing guided by higher level mental processes, as when we construct perceptions drawing on our experience and expectations

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Prosopagnosia

Inability to recognize faces
Complete sensation incomplete perception

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Psychophysics

The study of relationships between the physical characteristics of stimuli, such as their intensity, and our psychological experience of them

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Absolute threshold

The minimum stimulation needed to detect a particular stimulus 50% of the time

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Signal detection theory

Predicts how and when we detect the presence of faint stimulus ("signal") or amid background stimulation ("noise")

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Subliminal

Below ones absolute threshold for conscious awareness

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Priming

Often unconscious activation of certain associations, thus predisposing ones perception memory or response

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Difference threshold

The minimum difference between two stimuli required for detection 50% of the time! we experience it as just noticeable difference

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Webers law

Principle that, to be perceived as different, two stimuli must differ by a constant minimum percentage

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Sensory adaption

Diminished sensitivity as a consequence of constant motion

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Transduction

The conversion of one form of energy into another

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Wavelength

The distance from one wave peak to the next

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Hue

The color we experience

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Intensity

The amount of energy in the light waves determined by a waves amplitude, or height

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Pupil

Small adjust able opening that light passes through
controlled by iris

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Iris

Colored muscle surrounding pupil, regulates amount of light entering the eye

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Lens

Focuses incoming rays into an image on the eyes light sensitive back surface

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Accommodation

Process by which the lens changes it's curvature

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Retina

The eyeballs light sensitive inner surface on which the rays focus

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Acuity

Sharpens vision

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Nearsightedness

Focuses light rays from distant objects in front of the retina
trouble seeing things far away

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Farsightedness

Opposite
Trouble seeing things close

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Rods

Retinal receptors that detect black, white, and gray
Necessary for peripheral and twilight vision when cones don't respond

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Cones

Retinal receptors that are concentrated near the center of retina detect fine detail and color sensations

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Bipolar cells

Activated by rods and cones

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Ganglion cells

Activated by bipolar cells, axons converge like a rope to from optic nerve

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Optic nerve

The nerve that carries neural impulses from the eye to the brain

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Blind spot

The point at which the optic nerve leaves the eye, creating a "blind" spot because no receptors cells are located here

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Fovea

The central focal point in the retina, around which the eyes cones cluster

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Feature detectors

Nerve cells in the brain that respond to specific features of the stimulus, such as shape, angle, or movement

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Parallel processing

Processing of several aspects of a problem simultaneously, the brains natural mode of info processing for many functions

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Blindsight

Some who have lost a portion of their brains visual cortex to stroke or surgery have experienced blindness in part of their field of vision

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Young-Helmholtz trichromatic (three color) theory

The retina has three types of color receptors, each especially sensitive to one of three colors

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Opponent process theory

Occurrence of after images, two additional color processes, one responsible for red vs green perception, and one for blue vs yellow

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Color constancy

Perceiving familiar objects as having constant color, even if changing illumination alters the wavelengths reflected by the objects (tomato isn't really red)

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Audition

Our hearing, highly adaptive, the sense or act of hearing

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Frequency

The number of complete wavelengths that pass a point in a given time

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Pitch

A tones experienced highness or lowness; depends on frequency

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Middle ear

Chamber between the eardrum and cochlea, containing hammer, anvil, and stirrup that concentrate the vibrations of the eardrum on the cochleas oval window

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Cochlea

Bony, fluid filled tube in the inner ear through which sound waves trigger nerve impulses

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Cilia

Ear hair cells

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Inner ear

Innermost part of the ear, containing cochlea, semicircular canals, and vestibular sacs

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Place theory

Links the pitch we hear with the place where the cochleas membrane is stimulated; EXPLAIN HOW WE HEAR HIGH PITCHED SOUNDS

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Frequency theory

The rate of nerve impulses traveling up the auditory nerve
Matches frequency of a tone, thus enabling us to sense it's pitch
EXPLAINS HOW WE HEAR LOW PITCHED SOUNDS

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Conduction hearing loss

Caused by damage to the mechanical system that conducts sound waves to the cochlea

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Sensorineural hearing loss

Caused by damage to the cochleas receptor cells or to the auditory nerve, also called nerve deafness

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Cochlear implant

A device for converting sounds into electrical signals and stimulating the auditory nerve through electrodes threaded into the cochlea

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Gate-control theory

The spinal cord contains a neurological "gate" that blocks pain signals or allows them to pass on to the brain

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Sensory interaction

The principal that one sense may influence another, as when the smell of food influences it's taste

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Olfaction

Experience of smell

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Kinesthesis

The system for sensing the position and movement of individual body parts

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Vestibular sense

The sense of body movement and position, including the sense of balance