LSU PSYC 2000 - Chapter 3: Sensation & Perception

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Fall 2013, PSYC 2000: Sec. 001 & 003—Exam 2 Study OutlineChapter 3: Sensation & Perception1. What is sensation? What is Perception? Can you distinguish between the two?o Sensation – the process that occurs when special receptors in the sense organs are activated, allowing various forms of outside stimuli to become neural signals in the brain Transduction – the process of converting outside stimuli into neural activityo Perception – the method by which the brain takes all the sensations people experience at any given moment and allows them to be interpreted in some meaningful fashion. It is not innate or acquired2. What are sensory receptors?  Specialized forms of neurons, the cells that make up the nervous systemo Where are they located (or where can you find them on the body)?  Ears, eyes, nose, skin, and taste budso How do they take in information from outside stimuli and convert it into something that can be transmitted in the body and brain? (hint: transduction) They are stimulated by different kinds of energy Transduction – the process of converting outside stimuli into neural activity3. Name the environmental stimuli that stimulate the receptors for each sense (i.e., vision, hearing, taste, smell, touch). That is, what is the stimulus input that each sense picks up on from the environment and can convert for transmission. (note: relates to table below)o Vision  Stimulus input: light energy1. Light – tiny packets of waves known as photons Phototransduction: Conversion of light energy into neural impulses that brain can understand.o Hearing  Stimulus input: sound waves1. Vibrations of molecules of air that surround us2. Acoustical transduction: conversion of sound waves into neural impulses in hair cells of the inner earo Taste Stimulus input: chemicals Gustatory (taste) receptors & taste buds1. 25% non-tasters, 50% medium tasters, 25% super testers2. Clusters of cells found on the taste buds, which are responsible for the sense of taste3. Gustatory transduction: conversion of food molecules into neural impulses in the receptors of the taste budso Smell Stimulus input: chemicals Olfactory cilia – hair like structures located in upper portion of nasal passages and are responsible for smell Olfactory transduction: conversion of chemical molecules in air into neural impulses by the olfactory cilia Olfactory receptors – send neural signals related to smell directly up the olfactory bulbso Touch Stimulus input: touch, pressure, temperature, pain1. Sensory receptors in the skin Nerve fibers that carry information about tactile stimulation are routed through the thalamus and onward to the somatosensory cortex4. Be able to fill in the blanks of the table below. This table represents understanding of how each sensory organ brings in sensations through its receptors to be converted for transmission to and interpretation by the brain. I have provided one example to get you started.Vision Hearing Taste Smell TouchStimulus input Light waves (light energy)Sound waves Chemicals Chemicals Touch, pressure, temperature, painElements (or properties) of stimulus Wavelength (color)Amplitude (brightness)Saturation (purity)Pitch (wavelength or frequency)Volume (amplitude)Timbre (purity of the sound tone)SweetSourSaltyBitterBrothy Sensory organ Eyes Ear Mouth/tongue Nose Skin Sensory receptorsPhotoreceptorsincluding rods& conesCorti organ – hair cellsGustatory (taste) buds/ receptorsOlfactory receptor cellsPacinian corpuscles, free nerve endingsLocation of receptorsRetina of eyes Basilar membranePapillae Cilia (little hairs)Surface, under skinMain location of processing in brainVisual cortex Auditory cortexInsular cortex Olfactory bulbsSomasensory cortex5. What we detect (or become consciously aware of) has to do with sensory thresholds. o Be able to define, differentiate, and recognize examples of the Just Noticeable Difference (or Difference Threshold) and the Absolute Threshold.1. Just noticeable difference – the smallest difference between two stimuli that is detectable 50% of the time (difference threshold)2. Absolute threshold – the lowest level of stimulation that a person can consciously detect 50% of the time the stimulation is present What is Weber’s Law? Which threshold theory does it belong too? You donot have to apply it.1. Whatever the difference between the stimuli might be, it is always constant, part of just noticeable differenceso What is an alternate theory to the above two thresholds (difference and absolute) that has been used to explain the detection of stimulus? (hint: Sensation & Perception-Part 1 lecture)1. Subliminal perception What are subliminal stimuli? Generally, what influence do they have on us? 1. Subliminal stimuli are those just strong enough for our sensory receptors to pick them up, but not strong enough for us to be able to detect them6. What is habituation? What is sensory adaptation? How are they similar and how are they different?o Habituation – tendency of brain to stop attending to constant, unchanging informationo Sensory adaptation – tendency of sensory receptor cells to become less responsiveto a stimulus that is unchangingo In habituation, the sensory adaptation receptors are still responding to stimulation but the lower centers of the brain are not sending the signals from those receptors to the cortex. The process of sensory adaptation differs because the receptor cells themselves become less responsive to an unchanging stimulus – garbage odors included – and the receptors no longer send signals to the brain7. Vision :o How does the human visual spectrum compare to the whole (or total) spectrum of light? Visible spectrum – the portion of the whole spectrum of light that is visible to the human eye The wavelengths people can see are only a small part of the whole electromagnetic spectrumo Be able to describe each of the three characteristics (or properties of light) and what they allow us to perceive (e.g., different wavelengths of light relate to different colors we see) Color (hue) – wavelength1. Long wavelengths (measured in nanometers) are found at the red end of the visible spectrum whereas shorter wavelengths are found at the blue end Brightness – amplitude of wave; height of wave1. The higher the wave, the bright the light; the lower the wave, the dimmer the light Saturation (purity) – determined by whether or how much there is a


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LSU PSYC 2000 - Chapter 3: Sensation & Perception

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