Chapter 6: Sensation and Perception Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Chapter 6: Sensation and Perception Deck (61)
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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 information 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 brain's integration of sensory information

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Top-down Processing

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

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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 brain can interpret

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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 percent of the time

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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

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Subliminal

Below one's absolute threshold for conscious awareness

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Priming

The activation, often unconsciously, of certain associations, thus predisposing one's perception, memory, or response

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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 or 'jnd'

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Weber's Law

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

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Sensory Adaptation

Diminished sensitivity as a consequence of constant stimulation

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Perceptual Set

A mental predisposition to perceive one thing and not another

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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

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Hue

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

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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

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Pupil

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

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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

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Lens

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

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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 information

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Accommodation

The process by which the eye's lens changes shape to focus near of far objects on the retina

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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 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

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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 receptor cells are located there

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Fovea

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

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

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Young-Helmholtz Trichromatic (three color) Theory

The theory that the retina contains three different color receptors- one most sensitive to red, one to green, and one to blue- which, when, stimulated in combination, can produce the perception of any color