Midterm Study Guide
Midterm Study Guide PL1101E
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This 41 page Study Guide was uploaded by Aashika Ashok on Tuesday September 29, 2015. The Study Guide belongs to PL1101E at National University of Singapore taught by Dr. John Elliott in Spring 2015. Since its upload, it has received 112 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Psychology in Psychlogy at National University of Singapore.
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Date Created: 09/29/15
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from our sense organs which in effect are models of the world By seeing and understanding visual illusions we can learn why some things are missed by brain and what it means Central part of our retina has a high concentration of rods and cones in the periphery we have much fewer of them Therefore we get a failure of a mechanism that normally serves to clearly distinguish boundaries and we thus get a degree of spillover this is why we see the grey dots n the visual illusion When you stroke your index finger and someone else s at the same time his or her index finger begins to feel numb Why The person stroking gets conflicting signals they feel something moving plus stationary so they end up feeling a numb index finger When we see the above illusion Top down processing vs bottom up processing We know ducks looks like a certain way and rabbits another way We know both exist so we cant isolate and look only at one at a time In the field of psychophysics physical energy such as sound waves or electromagnetic radiation is measured and related to dimensions of the resulting sensations we experience such as loudness or brightness a threshold is the amount of stimulation needed for an individual to either detect the stimulus itself or to detect that the stimulus has changed under ideal conditions An absolute threshold is the smallest amount of sensation that can be perceived 50 of the time under ideal conditions 11 How do we know what is true Transduction is the process of taking physical stimulation and converting them to neural signals Our brain uses sensory stimulations collectively interprets it and provides perception The trick to knowing what39s true is to rely on more than one source of evidence sense Sometimes people become bad at telling what is true and what is not based on these senses schizophrenia Sometimes in bottom up processing if we don t know what something is that we are observing we have to piece everything together based on the little information we have it may not always be what it seems to be Based on top down processing once we know what something is in an illusion where are required to identify a hidden object for example we cant unsee it 12 Sensory prosthetics Visual prosthetics have been developed so that people whose eyes cannot transduce electromagnetic energy can see In this artificial visual system video cameras translate light into electrical impulses that directly stimulate the visual cortex resulting in rudimentary visual expenences Cochlear implants are devices used by people whose auditory systems can no longer transduce sound waves into neural impulses The stimuli produced by cochlear implants are experienced as being heard There is no true or false way to perceive things they may differ between animals and between people A sense organ detects stimulation above threshold and then the neural signals are combined and integrated in various ways This may may yield a conscious experience or may affect how we behave without our realizing it 13 Selective attention inattentional blindness Our focus on a subset of input prioritizes incoming information However we can sometimes be so focused that we miss important information Not seeing something that is plainly before your eyes most likely occurs when your attention is narrowly focused Observers were asked to watch the film closely and count how many times a basketball passed between members of one of the teams while ignoring the other team As observers watched and counted a person wearing a gorilla suit walked into the middle of the basketball game faced the camera thumped its chest and walked out of view Half the observers failed to notice this rather striking event People who do better on multitasking tend to see the gorilla more often than those who do not Talking on any kind of phone can create blindness due to a lack of attention and divided attention that impair driving and may contribute to accidents We may be so focused on our texting that we miss an oncoming car When faced with multiple stimuli we often attempt to process multiple sources of sensory information 2 Vision The reason is that our eyes can see only certain wavelengths of light and color is the experience our brains create from those wavelengths Each part of the eye performs a specific function that contributes to transforming light waves into neural signals 21 The eye The Cornea is the outermost layer of the eye It is a thin clear membrane that bends light waves inward The Pupil is the opening through which light waves enter the eye When it s dim the pupil opens wide to let more light in When it s bright the pupil becomes smaller The Iris is the pigmented portion of the eye It s also the muscle that adjusts the size of the pupil It expands or contracts as light conditions change The Lens focuses the incoming light so that it falls onto the retina If you re focusing on something close the lens expands and if you re focusing on something far away the lens contracts This process of changing focus is called accommodation The Retina is a multilayered collection of neurons that covers the rear of the eye It contains the visual receptors which convert light wave energy into neural signals The Fovea is the exact center of the retina It contains receptors that are specialized for fine detail and color vision It s the place where your visual acuity sharpness is highest The Optic nerve is a bundle of fibers that transmit incoming visual signals to the brain It consists of axons that exit the eye at a spot known as the optic disk The rods and cones are the visual receptors located within the retina They each contain pigments that are broken down by light energy Because there are no rods and cones within the optic disk each eye has a blind spot The rods are more sensitive to light than the cones and excel at seeing in dim light Rods do not provide information about color nor do they provide clear sharp Images Rods become more common as we move from the fovea to the periphery of the retina so your peripheral vision does a better job of viewing dim light than your central vision does They are completely absent from the fovea Cones function best under bright light and provide the ability to see both sharp images and color Cones are mostly in the fovea and become less frequent as you move toward the periphery of the retina 22 Visual Processing Pathways Visual information from the retina travels to the thalamus and then to the primary visual cortex in the occipital lobe Axons from the final layer of cells leave the back of the eye to form the optic nerve The point at which the optic nerves cross the midline is known as the optic chiasm Beyond the optic chiasm the visual pathways are known as optic tracts About 90 of the axons in the optic tracts will synapse in the thalamus The remaining fibers connect with the hypothalamus where their input provides information about light needed to regulate sleepwaking cycles or with the midbrain which manages a number of visually guided reflexes such as changing the size of the pupil in response to light conditions The thalamus sends information about vision to the amygdala and to the primary visual cortex in the occipital lobe The amygdala uses visual information to make quick emotional judgments especially about potentially harmful stimuli Primary visual cortex responds to object shape location movement and color with neurons known as feature detectors It begins but by no means finishes the processing of visual input The dorsal stream carries signals from the occipital lobe to areas within the parietal lobe This stream is sometimes referred to as the where pathway since it responds to an object s location and movement The ventral stream carries signals from the occipital lobe to areas within the temporal lobe This stream is sometimes referred to as the what pathway since it s responsible for object identification and recognition 23 Color blindness Given the rather common occurrence of colorblindness making visual materials accessible to people with all types of color vision is a serious concern Color can be a very effective tool for designing exciting and engaging websites but many graphic web designers fail to consider how the site might look to a person who is colorblind Although most of us rely on the color information from the red yellow or green lights the lights also vary in location In other words color should never be the only basis for extracting meaning A second major concern is contrast The strong contrast between the black letters on the white pages of a book makes the text easy to read for most people Colored text against a colored background might add interest but runs the risk of being harder to read especially when reds and greens are used 3 VisualPerceptual Processes and Phenomena This photo illustrates the limits of pure perception Even simple designs are easily misperceived Fraser s spiral is actually a series of concentric circles The illusion is so powerful that people who try to trace one of the circles sometimes follow the illusory spiral and jump from one circle to the next Our brains build perceptions ln topdown processing context and preexisting knowledge are used to rapidly organize features into a meaningful whole In bottomup processing we start constructing at the bottom with raw materials that is we begin with small sensory units features and build upward to a complete perception 31 Depth perception monocular cues An image projected onto the retina is twodimensional but somehow the brain manages to construct a threedimensional image from these data To construct a threedimensional image we use both monocular oneeye and binocular twoeye cues Linear perspective occurs when parallel lines seem to converge in the distance Relative size is when we expect two objects to be the same size and they are not In such cases the larger of the two objects will be perceived as closer and the smaller will be perceived as farther away Interposition comes into play when objects overlap or when one object blocks your view of another The overlapping object appears closer and the object that is covered appears farther away Light and shadow Brightly lit objects appear closer while objects in shadow appear farther away Shadows create threedimensional impressions of bumps on the left side of this drawing and of dents on the right side But if you turn the book upside down the bumps will look like dents and the dents will look like bumps This reversal in depth perception occurs partly because people normally assume that illumination comes from above and interprets the pattern of light and shadow accordingly Texture gradient Areas with sharp detailed texture are interpreted as being closer while those with less sharpness and poorer detail are perceived as more distant Aerial perspective also known as relative clarity Created by the presence of dust smog clouds or water vapor We perceive clearer objects as being nearer and hazy or cloudy objects as farther away Motion parallax is based on the speed of moving objects We perceive objects that are moving at high speeds to be closer than objects moving more slowly or appearing stationary 32 Depth perception binocular cues Convergence is based on signals sent from muscles that turn the eyes To focus on objects that are near or approaching these muscles turn the eyes inward toward the nose and the brain uses the signals sent by these muscles to determine the distance of the object Because of their different positions each eye receives a slightly different image The difference between those images is the retinal disparity which is a binocular cue The brain combines those images to form a single perception but interprets a large disparity as a close object and a small disparity as a distant object 33 Perceptual constancy This refers to our tendency to perceive sizes shapes brightness and colors as remaining the same even though their physical characteristics are constantly changing It is a form of topdown processing that helps maintain order in your world Size constancy refers to our tendency to perceive objects as remaining the same size even when their images on the retina continually grow or shrink Shape constancy refers to your tendency to perceive an object as retaining its same shape even though when you view it from different angles its shape is continually changing its image on your retina When you move a book the shape projected on your retina may change from rectangular to trapezoidal yet your perception of the book doesn t change If you look into a dimly lit closet all the brightly colored clothes will appear dull and grayish Because of brightness and color constancy you can still form relatively accurate perception of the clothes and won t have too much trouble selecting a red shirt Brightness constancy refers to the tendency to perceive brightness as remaining the same in changing illumination Color constancy refers to the tendency to perceive colors as remaining stable despite differences in lighting 34 Illusions An illusion is a perceptual experience in which you perceive an image as being so strangely distorted that in reality it cannot and does not exist Manipulating perceptual cues so that your brain can no longer correctly interpret space size and depth cues creates an illusion In the MUIIerLyer illusion the arrow on the left appears shorter than the arrow on the right One explanation is that you are relying on size cues learned from your previous experience with corners If a corner of a room extends outward it is closer this experience distorts your perception so that the left arrow appears to be shorter In contrast you have learned that if a corner of a room recedes inward it is farther away and this experience makes you perceive the right arrow as longer HD Ames room the trapezoidal room Response to visual cues We are aware of normal rooms being rectangualr that is why we are unable to immediately picture the room as being a trapezoid Actual position of Person A Apparent position of person A Actual and apparent position of person B b Apparent mg shape of room peephole Given that culture and environment influence many of our beliefs and expectations it stands to reason that culture and environment also affect perception People who grow up in noncarpentered environments where structures tend to be less likely to experience the MUIIerLyer illusion 4 Hearing We perceive frequency as the pitch of the sound high or low measured in cycles per second Hertz or Hz and we perceive amplitude as the loudness of the sound measured in decibels dB Sound waves have different amplitudes and frequencies Highamplitude waves are perceived as loud and lowamplitude waves are perceived as soft Highfrequency waves many cycles per unit of time are perceived as high pitched whereas lowfrequency sounds are low pitched A wave with only one frequency is known as a pure tone but these rarely occur in nature The tuning fork used by a piano tuner produces pure tones Most sounds that we hear are complex combinations of waves A complex tone combining multiple waves is perceived as having a characteristic quality or timbre The same note played by a piano clarinet and violin will sound very different due to each instrument s ability to produce different timbres Ultrasounds are above the range of human hearing and infrasounds are below the range of human hearing As we observed in the case of the light spectrum parts of the auditory spectrum are outside the range of human hearing Ultrasound stimuli occur at frequencies above the range of human hearing beginning at about 20000 Hz Ultrasound can be used to clean jewelry or your teeth or to produce noninvasive medical images lnfrasound refers to frequencies below the range of human hearing or less than 20 Hz In humans infrasound stimuli produce dizziness nausea uncontrolled bowel movements and other unpleasant symptoms and are under study as a possible means of nonlethal crowd control 41 The cochlea Sound waves vibrate the eardrum Three tiny bones convert the eardrum s vibrations into vibrations in the fluidfilledcochlea These vibrations displace hair cells along the basilar membrane in the cochlea Here the dimensions of the cochlea have been changed to make the principles clear The cochlea is a very complex structure which is better understood if we pretend to unroll it The cochlea may be divided into three parallel chambers divided from one another by membranes Two of these chambers the vestibular canal and the tympanic canal are connected at the apex of the cochlea or the point farthest from the oval window Vibrations transmitted by the bones of the middle ear to the oval window produce waves in the fluid of the vestibular canal that travel around the apex and back through the tympanic canal Lying between the vestibular and tympanic canals is the cochlear duct The cochlear duct is separated from the tympanic canal by the basilar membrane Resting on top of the basilar membrane is the organ of Corti which contains many rows of hair cells that transduce sound energy into neural signals Each human ear has about 15500 of these hair cells The primary auditory cortex is located in the temporal lobe Bending the hair cells stimulates the release of neurotransmitters onto the cells of the auditory nerve One branch of each auditory nerve cell makes contact with the hair cells while the other branch proceeds to the medulla of the brainstem From the medulla sound information is sent to the midbrain which manages reflexive responses to sound as in turning toward the source of a loud noise In addition the midbrain participates in sound localization or the identification of a source of sound The midbrain passes information along to the thalamus which in turn sends sound information to the primary auditory cortex located in the temporal lobe 42 Auditory pathways The primary auditory cortex conducts the first basic analysis of the wavelengths and amplitudes of incoming information Surrounding the primary auditory cortex are areas of secondary auditory cortex that respond to complex types of stimuli like clicks noise and sounds having particular patterns Sound waves produce a peak response on the basilar membrane according to their frequencies Like the strings on a musical instrument high tones produce the greatest response at the narrow stiff base of the basilar membrane while low tones produce the greatest response at the wide floppy part of the basilar membrane near the apex Sound waves travel through the cochlea from the oval window around the apex and back to the round window The waves cause movement of tiny hair cells in the cochlear duct which we perceive as sound The perception of pitch begins with the basilar membrane of the inner ear Place theory suggests that the frequency of a sound is correlated with the part of the basilar membrane showing a peak response The base of the basilar membrane closest to the oval window is narrow and stiff In contrast at its farthest point near the apex the basilar membrane is wide and flexible Highfrequency tones produce the maximum movement of the basilar membrane near the base while lowfrequency tones produce maximum movement near the apex The hair cells riding above these areas of peak movement will show a maximum response Place theory works well for sounds above 4000 Hz which is about the frequency produced by striking the highest key on a piano C8 Below frequencies of 4000 Hz the response of the basilar membrane does not allow for precise localization In these cases we appear to use another mechanism known as frequency theory in which patterns of neural firing match the actual frequency of a sound 5 Chemical and Mechanical Senses Receptors within the skin provide information about touch pressure and temperature Receptors within muscles and joints provide information about position and movement Both types of receptors can send pain signals to the brain Signals are sent up the spinal cord to the thalamus which relays them to the somatosensory cortex Although these senses may not seem as glamorous as vision and hearing we are severely disabled by their loss You might think it would be a blessing to be born without a sense of pain but people who have impaired pain reception often die prematurely due to their inability to respond to injury Children who are born with a rare inherited insensitivity to pain repeatedly burn themselves break bones bite off parts of their tongues and become ill without knowing it As you might imagine it s also hard for people with congenital pain insensitivity to have empathy for the pain of others 51 The vestibulear system Part of the inner ear within the vestibular system fluidfilled sacs called otolith organs is sensitive to movement acceleration and gravity The otolith organs contain tiny crystals in a soft gelatinlike mass The tug of gravity or rapid head movements can cause the mass to shift This in turn stimulates hairlike receptor cells allowing us to sense gravity acceleration and movement through space Three fluidfilled tubes called the semicircular canals are the sensory organs for balance Head movements cause the fluid to swirl about As the fluid moves it bends a small flap or float called the crista that detects movement in the semicircular canals The bending of each crista again stimulates hair cells and signals head rotation The vestibular system is part of the inner ear Within the vestibular system fluidfilled sacs called otolith organs are sensitive to movement acceleration and gravity The otolith organs contain tiny crystals in a soft gelatinlike mass The tug of gravity or rapid head movements can cause the mass to shift This in turn stimulates hairlike receptor cells allowing us to sense gravity acceleration and movement through space Three fluidfilled tubes called the semicircular canals are the sensory organs for balance Head movements cause the fluid to swirl about As the fluid moves it bends a small flap or float called the crista that detects movement in the semicircular canals The bending of each crista again stimulates hair cells and signals head rotation The vestibular system helps you maintain balance and experience a relatively stable world When the vestibular system is compromised as happens with an inner ear infection people often experience dizziness and have difficulty with balance Shepard tone tone that continually goes down but doesn t actually Auditory illusion 523mm Olfactory receptors in the nose interact with airborne chemicals to begin the sensing of odor Air containing olfactory stimuli is taken in through the nostrils and circulated within the nasal cavities connected to the nostrils The receptors are located in a thin layer of cells within the nasal cavity Unlike most neurons the olfactory receptors regularly die and are replaced by new receptor cells in cycles lasting 4 to 6 weeks Cells at the base of the receptors are responsible for producing the mucus surrounding the receptors One branch of each receptor interacts with molecules dissolved in the mucus The other branch carries information back to the central nervous system as part of the olfactory nerve The olfactory nerve fibers synapse in one of the two olfactory bulbs located just below the mass of the frontal lobes Unlike most of the other sensory input to the brain olfactory pathways do not make direct connections with the thalamus before the information reaches the cerebral cortex Instead fibers from the olfactory bulbs proceed to the olfactory cortex located in the lower portions of the frontal lobe and to the amygdala 53 Taste Taste receptors are on taste buds located in the bumps or papillae located on the tongue The most likely original purpose of our sense of gustation or taste was to protect us from eating poisonous or spoiled food and to attract us to foods that boost our chances of survival Most of us are familiar with four major categories of taste sweet sour salty and bitter You may not have heard of the fifth type of taste known by the Japanese term umami which roughly translated means savory or meaty In addition the tongue contains receptors for capsaicin an active ingredient in hot peppers Activating these receptors can cause the perception of a spicy heat This experience is more of a tactile sensation than a gustatory one You are probably aware of the bumpy texture of your tongue which results from the presence of papillae which contain somewhere between 1 and 100 taste buds Each taste bud contains between 50 and 150 receptor cells which extend tiny hair like cilia into the saliva that interact with dissolved taste stimuli and transduce the resulting information into neural signals Like olfactory receptors taste buds have a limited life before they are replaced Information about taste travels from the mouth and tongue to the medulla The medulla in turn communicates with the thalamus which sends taste information to the somatosensory cortex of the parietal lobe and to the orbitofrontal cortex where the emotional pleasantness or unpleasantness of particular stimuli is processed 54 Receptors for Touch Temperature and Pain The skin has three layers The outermost layer is a thin film of dead cells containing no receptors 10 In the middle and fatty layers of skin are a variety of receptors with different func ons Merkel s disks sense pressure on the skin Meissner s corpuscles sense pressure Hair follicle receptors sense hair movement Pacinian corpuscles sense pressure and vibration Ruffini s endings sense skin stretching Free nerve endings One of their major functions is to transmit information about temperature and pain All of these receptors send their electrical signals to neurons within the spinal cord which brings the information to the brain 55 The Gate Control Theory of Pain According to the gate theory of pain incoming pain messages can be influenced by factors like chronic stress opening the gate wider and producing a greater sensation of pain or rubbing an injured body part closing the gate and reducing the sensation of pain Pain messages traveling to the brain may be modified by competing incoming sensory signals Many of us spontaneously rub our elbow after bumping it painfully According to the gate theory input from touch fibers reacting to rubbing your elbow competes with input from pain receptors for activation of cells in the spinal cord Activation of the touch fibers effectively dilutes the amount of pain information reaching the brain In some cases signals that close the gate can be sent from the brain to the spinal cord 11 in E w aim Wm 4 g ugc mm f F n Signme u 5w Emu EH g fm m a 1 1 r H u Egan um rr m hag mgnm waging mm c 2 at c kaif r E c in in a mans Ea Ml 1 x 35 E En w n m m GE 1 33 He Egg Paganfc wmam q w 1 A 5 a f a y Kama g 95 E h j t j H 5 Eg g Eu Mimi WEE fag Ea in Ehw wmyn giur A rm E m F cn uw xar 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