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Psych 120B

by: Elena Yeroushalmi
Elena Yeroushalmi
GPA 3.96
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Week 1 notes for Psych 120b
Sensation and Perception
Prof Shams
Class Notes
shams, sensation, psych120b, notes




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This 8 page Class Notes was uploaded by Elena Yeroushalmi on Thursday January 28, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to 120B at University of California - Los Angeles taught by Prof Shams in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 18 views. For similar materials see Sensation and Perception in Psychlogy at University of California - Los Angeles.


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Date Created: 01/28/16
Week 1 Lecture 2 A Simple Question • Which of the following tasks is more complex? o Playing chess o Detecting a chair in a room • Detecting a chair is a more complex task! o We have computers that can play chess o We don’t have computers that can detect a chair in a room • Ill-Posed Problem- A problem that has too many possible answers and not enough data to choose the correct answer. o (Ex: A computer trying to recognize an object in a room) Our Brains Have Evolved Over Time • Our brains have a lot of areas devoted to perceptual processing o (Ex: Detecting a chair in a room) • Our brains have less areas devoted to other areas o (Ex: Playing chess) Why Should we Study Sensation and Perception? • The “rotating snakes” photo: o We see movement when there isn’t one • The “Bill Clinton” photo: o Both people were Bill Clinton, but we perceived one as Bill Clinton and the other as Al Gore • Change Blindness- Failing to perceive a change in a scene o (Ex: Not seeing the handrail in the photo changing from higher to lower) • Inattentional Blindness- Failing to perceive something directly in front of you o (Ex: Not seeing the gorilla while people are passing the basketball) o As we are attending to something else, we are “blind” to things we are not paying attention to Why Should we Study Sensation and Perception? • Not everything we perceive is real o (Ex: Rotating snakes, Bill Clinton) o Our previous knowledge can influence what we have seen. • Not everything that is real is perceivable o (Ex: Change Blindness) • By understanding how sensation and perception works, we get a better understanding of reality and the relationship between ourselves and the world. • Ethics! o Animals see, hear, and feel the world in a similar fashion as we do Why Do We Have Sensation and Perception? • In order for an animal to survive and reproduce, it must be able to detect the spatial structure and temporal events in its surroundings Types of Sensation and Perception • To detect structure and events, an animal has to be sensitive to at least one form of energy that provides information about the environment • Sources of Information: o Chemicals in the air (smell, taste) o Mechanical pressure on the body surface (touch) o Sound pressure in the air (hearing) o Light (vision) Vision • Vision provides information about the distant environment, silent environment, and the inanimate world. o Most animals use vision to detect distant and silent environment. Sensation • Sensation- A process by which we detect physical energy (Ex: Light) from the environment and translate it into a neural signal (which the brain can understand) o (Ex: Our eyes detect light and transforms it into a neural signal) • Bottom Up Process o Receiving information from the outside world and sending it to the brain Perception • Perception- A process by which we select, organize, and interpret sensory information which allows us to recognize meaningful objects and events. • Top Down Process o Using different types of information to understand sensory information Sensation vs. Perception • Sensation leads to perception o We need to sense something first before we can perceive it. Bottom Up Processes • We sense something, perceive it, and then we understand it (cognition) Top Down Processes • Our cognition affects our perception, which affects our sensation It is hard to define where sensation begins and where perception begins • The boundary between the 2 is hard to find Perceptive is Active, not Passive • Perception o Makes sense of the input o “Figures out” the input o Imposes meaning to the input o Organizes the input Basic Neurobiology • The majority of the brain is responsible for sensory processing Structure of Neuron Demo • Dendrites- Receives input and sends it to the neuron • Cell Body- Where the information is sent to • Nucleus- Where the information is processed • Axon Hillock- The information is then transmitted to the axon hillock, and then axon o Where the action potential is created • Myelin Sheath- Fat around the axon which protects the axon • Axon Terminal- Where the information gets sent to other neurons • Presynaptic Neuron- The neuron that sends information • Postsynaptic Neuron- The neuron that receives information • Synapse- Where the information is exchanged between both presynaptic and postsynaptic neuron Neural Firing • Neural firing is electrochemical o Voltage increases along the axon are caused by changes in the membrane of the neuron ▯ Membrane changes to permit positively charged sodium ions (Na+) to rush into the axon ▯ Membrane changes to push positively charged Potassium ions (K+) outside the axon, restoring the neuron to its initial resting voltage Resting Sta+e + • Na and K channels are closed Depolarization • Some Na channels open, causing Na to enter the membrane • This depolarizes the membrane (makes it positive) o If depolarization reaches the threshold, an action potential occurs Rising Phase + • Most Na channels open • This depolarizes the membrane even further Falling Phase + • Most Na channels close • Most K open o This polarizes the membrane (makes it negative) Undershoot • All Na channels close • Most K channels close • Membrane returns to its initial resting state Neuroimaging • EEG- Measure brain function o Temporal resolution ↑ o Spatial resolution ↓ • MEG- Measures changes in magnetic activity o Temporal resolution ↑ o Spatial resolution ↑ • CT- Measures brain structure o Temporal resolution ↓ o Spatial resolution ↑ • MRI- Measures brain structure o Temporal resolution ↓ o Spatial resolution ↑ • fMRI- Measures brain function o Temporal resolution ↓ ▯ Hemodynamic Lag o Spatial resolution ↑ • PET- Measures brain structure o Temporal resolution ↓ o Spatial resolution ↑


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