EXAM 2 (CH. 5-8) Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in EXAM 2 (CH. 5-8) Deck (94):

Sense organs and sensory receptor cells

Sense organs - organs that receive stimuli (eyes, ears, nose, mouth, skin)
Src - specialized cells within sense organs that send neural impulses to the brain


"sensation" & "perception"

Sensation - information coming into your brain/ elementary components of an experience (bitter taste, patterns of light)
Perception - processes used to arrive at a meaningful interpretation of sensations
Ex. Ear receives sensation in form of sound waves, you perceive that it's your favorite song (& Necker Cube)


absolute threshold and difference threshold

Absolute - the smallest magnitude of a stimulus that can be detected (weakest detectable stimulus)
Difference - the smallest detectable difference between stimuli


Weber's law

The difference threshold between two things depends on the strength of the original stimulus (so the stronger the original stimulus, the greater the change must be to be detectable)
Same increase won't always lead to an equivalent psychological increase


sensory adaptation

The perceived weakening of a sensation due to prolonged exposure to stimulus (getting used to cold water)



Photopigment within cells react t light and a chemical reaction leads to a neural impulse


Rods & cones

Rods - more sensitive; general visual signals
Cones - specific details of images; need more light to be activated


trichromatic theory of color vision

First level of color processing: three different kinds of cones (RGB) and all sensations are stimulated from a combination of these three cones


opponent-process theory

Second level of color processing: certain colors are linked (we can see a bluish-green, but not a yellowish-blue); when you look at one color, the "afterimage" is the opposite color (blue - yellow)


top-down and bottom-up processing

Bottom-up - visual system analyzes actual sensory information on retina (starts with physical image)
To-down - using context to analyze image; you expect a certain image
(13 and B)


5 Gestalt principles of organization

1. proximity - things that are close together are grouped together in the mind as if they belonged together
2. closure - incomplete figures are seen as complete because our brain fills in missing info
3. similarity - similar things are seen as being related
4. continuation - images are seen in ways that produce smooth continuation
5. common fate - objects moving together are grouped together


figure ground concept

When we see something, we separate an image into a figure and a ground (center of our attention = figure; background = ground)


Monocular cues (4)

cues in environment that suggests depth and can be seen only by one eye
1. The brain knows that distant objects produce smaller images on the retina
2. Linear perspective: parallel lines receding far into the distance converge on a point. Closer together lines must be farther away.
3. Far away objects look blurry/slightly blue-ish
4. Can tell distance based on whether one object casts a shadow on another


binocular cues (2)

1. Convergence
2. Retinal disparity - each retina has slightly different images because they are a few inches apart


perceptual constancy

We perceive an object's properties as unchanging, even though physical message delivered to eyes is changing (brightness and color)



Sound - energy, travels in waves, the physical message to aauditory system; unlike light, it is a mechanical energy and needs a medium to travel through


place theory and frequency theory

Place theory - we hear pitch because certain hair cells are responding actively
Frequency theory - pitch is determined by frequency of neural impulse traveling up auditory nerve


What produces the sensation of temperature

Cool and warm fibers respond to cooling and heating of skin by increasing neural impulse production(if you go from cold, room temperature will feel a lot warmer than if you go from hot)



Adaptive reaction that the body generates in response to a stimulus that is causing tissue damage


gate control theory of pain

There are neural gates (endorphins) that control the transmission of pain impulses. The gate can be opened or closed, and critical pain signals can be blocked from reaching higher neural centers when necessary


phantom pain

Amputees often feel the amputated limb as if it is still there and sometimes report feeling pain in that limb; treated by mirror therapy



Smell - named from olfactory bulb that processes the stimuli in the brain


four basic tastes

Sweet salty sour bitter



Subjective awareness of internal and external events (feelings, thoughts, sensations, external stimuli)


What is consciousness good for

Develop strategies for behavior; think about what to say/do; imagine how something will turn out; imagine what others are thinking and predicting what they'll do



The internal processes that set priorities for mental functioning (selective focus)
We are only consciously aware of what we pay attention to


implications of the multi-tasking research for driving while cell-phoning

1. voice texting while driving is as bad as driving drunk
2. passengers adjust conversation so it is a bit safer
3. Hands free isn't much better because it is still cognitive distraction
4. just at stop lights can leave you distracted still after you press send and go
5. most confident multi-taskers can be the most dangerous drivers



Fast and effortless processing that requires little or no focused attention (walking) the better you are at something, the more automatic it becomes


subliminal influences

Messages so hard to detect that they bypass conscious awareness; effects are weak


visual neglect

Damage to the right parietal lobe of cerebral cortex produces tendency to ignore things appearing toward left side of body


circadian rhythm

Regular fluctuation from high to low points of certain bodily functions and behaviors falling along a 24 hour cycle


4 stages of sleep

Theta waves - stage 1; lower in amplitude and more irregular than alpha; start of light sleep
Alpha waves - you are relaxed/drowsy just prior to sleep; similar to awake waves, but still distinct
Sleep spindles - stage 2; short bursts of activity that interrupt theta waves
K complex - sudden, sharp



70-90 minutes into sleep cycle; onset of rapid eye movement; "active sleep"; 20-25% of night's sleep; the brain conducts consolidation of learning and memory and perceptual or motor skills increase after 8-10 hours
internally - intense brain activity, brain temperature rises rapidly, and epinephrine release leads to activity
externally - body appears calm; large muscles become paralyzed; dreaming occurs in 80% of people


function of sleep

Repairing and restoring - put body and brain functions back in order (repair disorganized circuits, restore depleted resources, consolidate learning/memory)
Survival value - we aren't efficient at night


REM rebound

Intensity and length of REM sleep increases after period of sleep deprivation; could be associated with nightmares


differences between dreams

REM dream - continual dream during REM sleep; story-like qualities, more vivid, visual, and emotional than NREM
NREM dream - less frequent and less memorable
Lucid dream - aware that you are dreaming and we are able to influence the content


4 reasons why psychologists think we might dream

1. wish fulfillment - to satisfy urges/desires (Freud)
2. Activation-Synthesis - dreaming is a consequence of random activity in brain
3. Problem-Focused dream interpretation
4. Dealing with threats


Freud's dream fulfillment

Believed dreams satisfy unconscious sexual and aggressive desires
Manifest content - the content of a dream as recalled by the dreamer
Latent content - the meaning of the dream



problems with the amount, timing and quality of sleep (insomnia, hypersomnia, narcolepsy)



unique disturbances during sleep (Sleepwalking, night terrors, nightmares, Sleeptalking (somniloquy))



Slow down CNS; inhibit neural activity (alcohol, valium, Xanax)
Low dose - calm, drowsy
High dose - suppress pain



Speed up CNS (coffee)
Low dose - excited, confident
High dose - anxious, jittery



Pain relievers by mimicking endorphins (opium, heroine, methadone)



Induced altered state of consciousness; state of deep relaxation; not same as sleep; "heightened suggestibility"
Dissociation - splitting of conscious awareness
Role playing - acting out suggestions



Induced altered consciousness; state of "alert-relaxation"; improves immune system and such



A relatively permanent change in behavior, or potential behavior, that result from experience (focus is on observable behavior; behavior change must be a reaction to experience or result in practice)


orienting, habituation, and sensitization

Orienting - an inborn tendency to notice and respond to new events (ex. Cell phone going off in class)
Habituation - decline in tendency to respond to event that has become familiar (ex. People tend to stop eating faster if they are eating the same thing)
Sensitization - increased response to an event that has been repeated (ex. Hearing someone's phone and you get more annoyed the more it goes off)


classical conditioning

a process by which people notice a stimulus in the environment and learn WHAT IT SIGNALS OR PREDICTS, or a process by which people learn relationships between events that occur outside of their control (Pavlov and John Watson)



(classical conditioning)
US - unconditioned stimulus (food for dog)
UR - unlearned reaction (Salivating for food)
CS - conditioned stimulus (bell)
CR - conditioned response (salivating for bell)


4 things necessary to form the CS-US connection in classical conditioning

1. CS must provide useful info about the arrival of the US
2. CS usually comes before the US
3. US needs to follow the CS closely in time
4. CS must provide new info about the US (blocking occurs when something prevents the subject from learning the connection of US and CS by ensuring that the CS provides no new info)


Little Albert experiment

John Watson paired a white rat with a frightening noise until the baby was conditioned to be afraid of the white rat on site (US - frightening noise; UR - baby is afraid; CS - white rate; CR - baby is afraid)


Why does classical conditioning work?

Early theory - we simply "shift" unconditioned response over to the conditioned stimulus
Current view - we learn relationships between events, and we learn that some events signal the upcoming occurrence of others and we respond appropriately


Second-order Conditioning

A conditioned stimulus is used to condition a second neutral stimulus (ex. we pair the white rat with a banana in order to make Little Albert scared of a banana)


stimulus Generalization and stimulus discrimination

Stimulus generalization - Responding to a new stimulus in a manner similar to the response produced by an established conditioned stimulus (little Albert scared of rabbit)
Stimulus discrimination - Responding differently to a new stimulus than how one responds to an established conditioned stimulus (little Albert not scared of other furry animals)



The process of unlearning a learned response because the original source of learning has been removed from the environment


conditioned inhibition

You learn that an event signals absence of an unconditioned stimulus (light comes on as the bell rings, and the dog learns that means no food)


counter conditioning

The process of reversing classical conditioning by pairing the CS with a new positive US to produce a positive CR (common treatment of phobias)


operant conditioning and the law of effect

Learning that our own actions lead to certain outcomes (trial and error)
Law of effect - if a response in a particular situation is followed by a satisfying consequence, it will be strengthened, and vice versa
(BF Skinner and pigeons)


how operant conditioning is DIFFERENT from classical conditioning

You learn that if you operate on your own environment, your own behavior changes, rather than your environment changing causing the change


19. Within operant conditioning, know what is meant by the stimulus situation, the discriminative stimulus, stimulus generalization, and stimulus discrimination

Stimulus situation - the only receive the reinforcement in certain situations
Discriminative stimulus - sets the occasion for a response to be rewarded
Stimulus generalization - doing the behavior in a similar situation expecting a reward
Stimulus discrimination - learning that in different scenarios, the same behavior does not produce a reward


Punishment vs Reinforcement; positive vs. Negative

Punishment - response consequences that decrease the likelihood of responding similarly
Reinforcement - response consequences that increase the likelihood of responding similarly
Positive - an event is presented to add to the situation
Negative - an event is taken away
PR - giving money; NR - take away chores; PP - give them chores; NP - take cell phone


a primary reinforcer

Things that are innately reinforcing (food, warmth, sexual gratification)


conditioned reinforcer

Reinforcers that are learned (money, grades, applause) (learned through classical conditioning)


4 different partial reinforcement schedules

Fixed ratio - reward after specified # of responses (not effective - post reinforcement pause)
Variable ratio - reward after varying # of responses (effective) (extinction is more difficult)
Fixed interval schedule - reward after specified time interval (not effective)
Variable interval schedule - reward after variable time intervals (effective)



Rewarding a series of approximate behaviors until you get the behavior you want (pigeon didn't just peck right away)


observational learning

When we learn about the consequences of our own behavior by watching other people



Natural tendency to imitate others (Albert Bandura and the Bobo doll)



The capacity and structures used for the relation and retrieval of info



How memories are initially acquired



How memories are maintained



How stored memories are recovered/translated into performance


sensory memory

Brain retains very briefly the raw sensations of a stimulus


iconic and echoic memory

icon - visual sensory memory (.5 sec) (measured by
echo - auditory sensory memory (2 secs) (measured by


short-term memory

working memory - limited capacity for limited time (phone number)


inner voice vs. the inner eye

tell it to yourself



keep saying it so it stays in there


memory span

NUmber of items we can remember in short-term (5-9)



split it up into smaller chunks that you can remember beter (splitting phone numbers into jersey numbers)


long-term memory

unlimited storage, detail level varies, may be permanent but distorted, can help STM


episodic memories

memory of things that we have personally experienced


semantic memories and procedural memories

procedural - remembering how to do something (muscle memory (riding a bike)
semantic - memory of general knowledge, facts, word meanings



an encoding process that involves the formation of connections between input to other info in our memory


7 different methods for improving the storage of information in long term memory

1. Think about meaning
2. notice relationships
3. notice slight differences
4. form mental pictures (visual imagery)
5. space your repetitions (forming more connections)
6. consider sequence position (primacy/recency effect)
7. pneumonic device



The small part of the electromagnetic spectrum that is processed by the visual system (400 -700 nm)



changes in wavelength that produce color



In vision, the process through which the lens changes its shape temporarily to help focus light on the retina.


Path light takes in eye

Cornea - first pass of light; protective coating on surface of eye; focusing process
Pupil - opening of iris
Iris - colored part; regulates amount of light that enters
Lens - transparent portion behind pupil; changes shape based on distance and reflects light to cornea
Retina - visual message is translated
Fovea - central spot in retina where cones are concentrated


receptive field

In vision, the portion of the retina that, when stimulated, causes the activity of higher order neurons to change.


optic nerve

sends messages from retina to brain, takes up too much space for visual receptor cells


Path that sound goes through ear

Pinna - Flap of tissue that we call the ear - captures sound
Tympanic membrane - ear drum
Cochlea - seashell that contains fluid
Basiliar membrane - base for sensory cells of hearing; flexible membrane running through cochlea that through its movement displaces
Auditory nerve - neural impulse exits cochlea throughthis nerve


psychoactive drugs

Drugs that affect behavior and mental processes through alterations of conscious awareness.



A class of drugs that tendsto disrupt normal mental and emotional functioning, including distorting perception and altering reality (weed, LSD)


Spontaneous Recovery

The recovery of an extinguished conditioned response after a period of nonexposure to the conditioned stimulus


vicarious reinforcement and punishment

when the model is punished or reinforced