UD PSYC 256 - Chapter 6: Sensation & Perception
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Chapter 6: Sensation & PerceptionSensing the World: Some Basic Principles- Thresholdso Psychophysics - study of relationship between physical characteristics of stimuli (e.g. intensity) and our psychological experiences of themo Absolute threshold - minimum stimulation needed to detect particular stimulus 50% of the time o Signal detection (signal vs. background noise/experience, expectation,motivation, fatigue) o Subliminal Stimulation Subliminal - below threshold or conscious awareness Priming - activation, often unconscious of certain associations, predisposing one’s perception, memory, or response o Difference thresholds (A.K.A Just Noticeable Difference or JND) - minimum difference a person can detect between 2 stimuli half the time o Weber’s Law - to be detectable the stimuli must vary by constant proportion – not constant amount (it’s not the amount of difference that matters it’s the proportion of difference that matters) o Sensory Adaptation - diminishing sensitivity to unchanging stimulus (if a stimulus in your environment remains constant you stop noticingit) Vision- Stimulus Input: Light Energy - Tranduction - transforming one form of energy to another - Properties of the stimuluso Wavelength- the distance from the peak of one wave to the peak of another wave o Wavelengths give you a hueo Shorter wavelengths are blue in color while longer wave lengths are reddish o High amp = bright, low amp = low or dim - The Eyeo Pupil- hole in your eye, the whole purpose is to let light energy enter o Iris- the muscle that surrounds the pupil; main function is to regulate the amount of light that’s allowed to enter o Cornea- clear coating on the eye; one function of the cornea is to focusthe light; to some extent, serves as a protective mechanism o Lens- focuses light; sits behind the pupil o Retna- located all along the back of the eye; where photo receptors are (the things that actually detect the light energy)o Fovea- point of central focus - The Retna o Cone- help you see light in color; help you see things in detail; highest concentration is right at the phobia o Rods- help you see black and white; active during night time conditions; you use rods when there’s not a lot of light; more numerous in the periphery of the retna; sparsest at the fovea- Visual Information Processing o Information comes in through each of our eyes, crosses at the optic chiasm, and carries information to the thalamus, and then the info is processed in the opsipital lobeo Feature Detectors - nerve cells (neurons) that respond to specific features of the stimulus (e.g. shape, angle, movement) o Supercell clusters - receive info from feature detectors and respond to more complex patterns (different supercell clusters are responsible for processing faces, houses, chairs, or houses & chairs) o Parallel Processing - processing many aspects of a problem simultaneously (vs. serial processing) - Color Visiono The wavelengths of the light waves that an object reflects determine the color that we seeo Young-Helmholtz trichromatic theory - retina contains 3 different color receptors (red, green, blue) o Opponent-process theory - opposing retinal processes allow for color vision (red-green, yellow-blue, white-black) Hearing- Audition - technical term that we use for our sense of hearing - Sound Waves (stimulus for hearing perception)o Amplitude  loudness (height of wave gives us info about volume; taller the amp, louder the sound)o Frequency  pitch (frequency is how many waves in a unit of time) Short waves  high pitch (piccolo) Long waves  low pitch (tuba) - The Ear o Pinna- to act like a funnel; ear trumpet o Auditory Canal- where the sound waves travel through o Middle Ear Eardrum- a piece of tissue that’s pulled tight; as the sound vibrations enter the ear, they hit the eardrum and cause it to start to vibrate  Vibrations in eardrum cause the hammer, anvil, and stirrup to vibrate o Inner Ear  Cochlea- main structure; filled essentially with water; Movement of the stirrup causes movement in the fluid of the cochlea, movement in the fluid in the cochlea causes movementin the cilia (hair cells that line the…), movement in the hair cells sends info out to the brain o Volume is measured in decibel’s; the arbitrary threshold of human hearing is 0 decibel’s (lack of human ability to perceive vibrations in the air). Decibels above 82-84 could cause permanent damage to your hearing. o Perceiving Loudness  Number of activated hair cells o Perceiving Pitch  Place theory - different sound waves trigger activity at differentplaces along basilar membrane Frequency theory - frequency of neural impulses traveling up auditory nerve is monitored  Volley principle - neural cells alternate firing so combined frequency is that required o Hearing Loss & the Deaf Culture  Conduction hearing loss - caused by damage to the structures inthe ear that conduct sound waves to the cochlea  Sensorineural hearing loss - caused by damage to hair cell receptors or associate nerves (aging, exposures to loud sounds) Cochlear implant - converts sounds to electrical signals which then stimulate auditory nerve through electrodes threaded into the cochlea.Perceptual Organization - Gestalt - an organized whole o A school of thought emphasizing that the whole is different than the sum of its parts - Form Perceptiono Figure-ground - organization of visual field into its objects (figures) and surroundings (ground) o Grouping - tendency to organize stimuli into coherent groups  Proximity- things that are organized together in a space are perceived as being members of the same group  Similarity- things that are alike tend to get grouped together  Continuity- we like to view things as a continuous segment rather then being broken up  Connectedness- things that are physically connected are perceived as being members of the same group  Closure- the tendency to psychologically fill in lines & edges that aren’t physically there- Depth Perception - ability to perceive the world in 3-D even though the images that fall on the retina are in


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UD PSYC 256 - Chapter 6: Sensation & Perception

Course: Psyc 256-
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