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Flashcards in PSY - Visual Perception Deck (51):

What is perception?

Process by which we give meaning to sensory information, resulting in personal interpretation

Active process


What is the order of light travel through the physiological features of the eye?

Cornea > Aqueous Humour > Pupil (Iris) > Lens (Ciliary Muscles) > Vitreous Humour > Retina > Optic Nerve > Visual Cortex


What is the cornea? What does it do?

A transparent, convex-shaped covering

Protects the eye, helps focus light rays onto the back of the retina


What is the aqueous humour? What does it do?

Between the cornea and the lens, it is a watery fluid

Helps maintain the shape of the eyeball and provide nutrients & oxygen to the eye, as well as carrying away waste products


What is the pupil? What does it do?

Not a structure in itself, opening in the iris

Controls amount of light entering the eye (dilates in dim, contracts in light)


What is the iris? What does it do?

Coloured, ring of muscles

Expand and contract to change size of pupil


What is the lens? What does it do?

Transparent, flexible, convex, behind pupil

Focuses light onto retina, (bulge for nearby, flatten for distant), controlled by ciliary muscles


What is the vitreous humour? What does it do?

Jelly-like substance

Helps maintain shape of eyeball, helps focus light


What is the retina? What does it do?

Consists of several layers of nerve tissue and light-sensitive visual receptor cells (photoreceptors)

Receives and absorbs light, processes images, connected to brain via optic nerve, image focussed on retina is inverted and reversed


What happens in reception?

Eye receives light from external environment and focuses it onto retina where image of stimulus is captured, detected by photoreceptors


What are the characteristics of rods?

Photoreceptor, low light, night vision, poor at detecting details, not colour, 125 million


What are the characteristics of cones?

Photoreceptor, high light, well-lit vision, good at detecting detail, colour vision, 6.5 million


What happens in transduction?

Photoreceptors change electromagnetic energy (light) into electrical impulses (signals) which can travel along optic nerve to brain


What happens in transmission?

Sending electrical impulses along optic nerve to brain (visual cortex, which specialises in receiving and processing visual information, but sends information to other areas for further processing


What happens in selection?

Feature detector cells filter and select important pieces of visual information (eg. lines, dots, circles etc.)


What happens in organisation?

Arranging visual information features in meaningful way, with visual perception principles (eg. Gestalt principles), automatic


What happens in interpretation?

Process of assigning meaning to visual information

Psychological processes: past experience with object, gestalt principles, context

Physiological processes: visual information sent to other brain areas to decipher WHERE and WHAT an object is


What is the stroop effect? Why does this occur?

Word colour different to actual colour

Brain has difficulty processing conflicting pieces of information, automatic response is to first read the word


How does the biological perspective explain visual perception?

Physiology of eye, neural events


How does the behavioural perspective explain visual perception?

Learning, past experience, rewards/punishments, expectations


How does the socio-cultural perspective explain visual perception?

Personal circumstances, experiences within culture


How does the cognitive perspective explain visual perception?

How we acquire and process visual information, systems controlled by brain


What are the Gestalt principles?

Group features to perceive complete form, may only be for those who studied geometric concepts formally(Luria)/had exp. with 2D shapes

Figure-ground organisation


What is figure-ground organisation?

Figure stands out from ground (surroundings), separated by figure's contour, eg signs, illusions ('reversible figures')


What is closure?

Closure: close up gaps mentally in image > perception of whole (eg. logos)


What is similarity?

Perceive similar featured parts as whole/together (eg uniforms, Ishihara colour blindness tests)


What is proximity?

Aka Nearness: parts located together perceived as together (eg letters = words, musical notes = melody)


What are the binocular depth cues?

Retinal Disparity


What is convergence?

Changes in tension in eye muscles determine distance (turn inwards for close objects), useful around 6 metres because here lines of sight of both eyes is basically parallel


What is retinal disparity?

Eyes are about 6-7 cm apart, so different image (about less than 9-10 m away) cast on each retina, and different location of visual images on retinae are compared/fused to make depth judgments


What are the monocular depth cues?

* Linear Perspective
* Interposition
* Texture Gradient
* Relative Size
* Height in the Visual Field
*= pictorial cues b/c used in artworks


What is accommodation?

Automatic adjustment of lens shape to focus an object in response to depth (bulge for close, flatten for distant) - extent to which changes shape gives info r.e. distance


What is linear perspective?

Apparent convergence of parallel lines as they recede into distance


What is interposition?

Aka overlap, is when one object partially covers another (blocked = further away)


What is texture gradient?

Gradual reduction of detail that occurs in a surface as it recedes into distance (close = finer detail)


What is relative size?

Tendency to visually perceive object that produces largest image on retina as being closer and vice versa (expected to be same size in real life)


What is Height in the Visual Field?

Location of objects in our field of vision, whereby objects close to horizon are perceived as more distant


What are the perceptual constancies?

Tendency to perceive object as unchanging/stable despite changes occur to image cast on retina



What is size constancy?

Object's actual size remains same despite size cast on retina changing (past experience = vital)


What is shape constancy?

Tendency to perceive object as maintaining shape despite change to shape of image cast on retina


What is brightness constancy?

Tendency to perceive object as maintaining brightness level in relation to surroundings despite changes in amount of light being reflected from object to retina


What is perceptual set?

Predisposition to perceive something in accordance with what we expect it to be, aka expectancy, can quicken reactions/understanding, can also make us miss relevant things we don't expect


How does context influence perceptual set?

= Setting in which perception is made

Relevant aspects of setting focused on (> quick & accurate interpretation), can > slower & inaccurate interpretations

Eg. Bruner and Minturn (1955): B and 13


How does motivation influence perceptual set?

Processes which activate behaviour which is directed towards achieving a particular goal

Psych (interests) and Physio factors (needs)


How does emotional state influence perceptual set?

Set us to perceive info in way consistent with that emotion

Eg. Coat hanger in dark > scared/frightened


How does past experience influence perceptual set?

Predispose us to perceive info in personal way b/c of personal exp. > individual differences in how perceived

Eg. Toch and Schulte (1961): 'binocular rivalry' (two images spontaneously presented, one to each eye - usually one actually seen) > violent and non violent situations for police trainees/officers and not


How do cultural factors influence perceptual set?

Experience with/in particular culture influences way we process and interpret visual info

Eg. Malawi people with dog photos could not identify dog b/c culture not accustomed to photos / 2D images of 3D things


What are visual illusions?

Misinterpretation of real sensory info (mismatch perception and reality)


Explain the Muller-Lyer illusion.

Line with feather tail is perceived as longer than longer than line with arrowhead

Biological: eye movements & brain's failure to properly process different info about eye movements (FT requires longer eye movements & also it takes more eye movements to view line w/ inward arrows) - rejected b/c still seen even with no eye movement

Behavioural: because it contradicts what learned about physical reality, 'carpentered world hypothesis' (illusion occurs b/c of its similarity to familiar architectural features in 3D real world = corners, FT > further away > longer

Socio-Cultural: 'non-carpentered world' people (Zulus w/ circle huts > less exposed and thus less likely to perceive illusion), race/education/training also proposed as relevant

Cognitive: may be due to inappropriate mental strategies (eg assuming smaller line is further away than it is = size constancy & depth cues), rejected as other shapes work as well as FT and AH


Explain the moon illusion.

Apparent distance theory: sky background > no depth cues > underestimate size, whereas tree/building background > further away > larger than zenith


What is sensation?

Process by which sense organs and receptors detect and respond to sensory information that stimulates them