Chapter 4A Vocab Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Chapter 4A Vocab Deck (46):
1

sensation

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

2

perception

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 info.

4

top-down processing

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

5

selective attention

the focusing of conscious awareness on a particular stimulus

6

inattentional blindness

failing to see visible objects when our attention is directed elsewhere

7

change blindness

failing to notice changes in the environment

8

psychophysics

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

9

absolute threshold

min. stimulation needed to detect a particular stimulus 50 percent of the time

10

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.

11

subliminal

below one's absolute treshold for conscious awareness

12

difference threshold

 the minimum difference between two stimuli required for detection 50 percent of the time. We experience the difference threshold as a just noticeable difference (jnd). (p. 122)

13

Weber's Law

the principle that, to be perceived as different, two stimuli must differ by a constant percentage (rather than a constant amount)

14

sensory adaptation

diminished sensitivity as a consequence of constant stimulation

15

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 brains can interpret.

16

wavelength

the distance from the peak of one light or sound wave to the peak of the next. Electromagnetic wavelengths vary from the short blips of cosmic rays to the long pulses of radio transmission

17

hue

he dimension of color that is determined by the wavelength of light; what we know as the color names blue, green, and so forth

18

middle ear

the chamber between the eardrum and cochlea containing three tiny bones (hammer, anvil, and stirrup) that concentrate the vibrations of the eardrum on the cochlea’s oval window

19

inner ear

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

20

frequency theory 

in hearing, the theory that the rate of nerve impulses traveling up the auditory nerve matches the frequency of a tone, thus enabling us to sense its pitch.

21

sensioromotor hearing loss

hearing loss caused by damage to the cochlea’s receptor cells or to the auditory nerves; also called nerve deafness.

22

kinesthesis

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

23

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 information coming from the brain.

24

intensity

 the amount of energy in a light or sound wave, which we perceive as brightness or loudness, as determined by the wave’s amplitude.

25

pupil

the adjustable opening in the center of the eye through which light enters

26

iris

a ring of muscle tissue that forms the colored portion of the eye around the pupil and controls the size of the pupil opening

27

lens

the transparent structure behind the pupil that changes shape to help focus images on the retina

28

retina

the light-sensitive inner surface of the eye, containing the receptor rods and cones plus layers of neurons that begin the processing of visual info.

29

rods

retinal receptors that detect black, white, and gray; necessary for peripheral and twilight vision, when cones don't respond

30

cones

retinal receptor cells 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.

31

optic nerve

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

32

blind spot

the point at which the optic nerve leaves the eye, creating a "blind" spot because no receptor cells are located there

33

fovea

the central focal point in the retina, around which the eye's cones cluster

34

feature detectors

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

35

parallel processing

the processing of many aspects of a problem simultaneously; the brain's natural mode of info. processing for many functions, including vision. contrasts with the step-by-step (serial) processin gof most computers and of conscious problem solving

36

three-color theory

3 receptors in the retina that are responsible for the perception of color

37

opponent process theory

theory that opposing retinal processes (red-green, yellow-blue, white-black) enable color vision. i.e. some cells are stimulated by green and inhibited by red; othrs are stimulated by red and others are inhibited by green

38

audition

the sense or act of hearing

39

frequency

the number of complete wavelengths that pass a point in a given time (i.e. per second)

40

pitch

a tone's experienced highness or lowness; depends on frequency

41

cochlea

a coiled, bony, fluid-filled tube in the inner ear through which sound waves trigger neural impulses

42

place theory

in hearing, the theory that links the pitch we hear with the place where the cochlea's membrane is stimulated

43

conduction hearing loss

hearing loss caused by damage to the mechanical system that conducts sound waves to the cochlea

44

cochlear implant

a deevice for converting sounds into electrical signals and stimulating the auditory nerve through electrodes threaded into the cochlea

45

vestibular sense

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

46

sensory interaction

principle that one sense may influence another, as whn the smell of food influnces its taste