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Psychology 110- Chapter 3 Notes

by: Courtney Cangelosi

Psychology 110- Chapter 3 Notes 21797

Marketplace > University of Louisiana at Lafayette > PSYC 110 > 21797 > Psychology 110 Chapter 3 Notes
Courtney Cangelosi
University of Louisiana at Lafayette

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About this Document

These notes are notes from the textbook and notes taken during lectures.
Introduction to Psychology
Monica B. Tauzin
Class Notes
Psychology, sensation, perception
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This 9 page Class Notes was uploaded by Courtney Cangelosi on Sunday October 2, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to 21797 at University of Louisiana at Lafayette taught by Monica B. Tauzin in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 4 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Psychology in PSYC 110 at University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

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Date Created: 10/02/16
Chapter 3: Sensation and Perception 3.1  What are sensation and perception? o Your senses are the gateway through which your brain receives all its information about the environment o Sensation- the detection and basic sensory experience of environmental stimuli o Perception- integrating, organizing, and interpreting sensations  Basic principles of sensation o Sensory receptors- specialized cells unique to each sense organ that respond to a particular form of sensory stimulation o Sound waves- vibrations in the air o Dissolvable chemicals- taste o Airborne chemical molecules- smell o Pressure- touch o Light waves- sight o Transduction- a form of physical energy is converted into a coded neural signal that can be processed by the nervous system o Sensory thresholds  Threshold- the point at which a stimulus is strong enough to be detected  Absolute threshold- the smallest possible strength of a threshold  Difference threshold (just noticeable difference)- the smallest possible difference between two stimuli  Weber’s law- a principle of sensation that holds that the size of the just noticeable difference will vary depending on its relation to the strength of the original stimulus  Whether we can detect a change in the strength of a stimulus depends on the intensity of the original stimulus o Sensation is relative o Sensory adaptation  Sensory adaptation- gradual decline in sensitivity to a constant stimulus  Your sensory receptor cells become less responsive to a constant stimulus o Duration of exposure o Subliminal perception- the detection of stimuli that are below the threshold of conscious awareness  James Vicary- people’s behavior could be manipulated by subliminal messages o Mere exposure effect- repeated exposure to a particular stimulus leads to increasing liking for that stimulus  Vision o The sense organ for vision is the eye  What we see o Light- electromagnetic energy that travels in the form of waves  X-rays, microwaves, infrared signals o Wavelength- the distance from one wave peak to another  Different wavelengths of visible light correspond to our psychological perception of different colors  How we see o Cornea- a clear membrane that covers the front of the eye that helps gather and direct incoming light o Sclera- white portion of the eye; tough, fibrous tissue that covers the eyeball except for the cornea o Pupil- black opening of the eye’s center that changes size to let in different amounts of light o Iris- the colored part of the eye; the muscle that controls the size of the pupil o Lens- a transparent structure, located behind the pupil, that actively focuses, or bends, light as it enters the eye o Accommodation- the process by which the lens changes shape to focus incoming light so that it falls on the retina o Myopia (nearsightedness)- distant objects appear blurry o Hyperopia (farsightedness)- nearby objects appear blurry o Presbyopia- when the lens becomes brittle and inflexible o Astigmatism- abnormally curved eyeball o LASIK- the procedure to correct visual disorders by reshaping the cornea o Retina- light sensitive membrane that lies at the back of the eye that contains the sensory receptors for vision  Rods- the long, thin, blunt sensory receptors of the eye that are highly sensitive to light, but not to color  Responsible for peripheral vision and night vision  125 million rods  Adapt slowly (30 minutes)  Cones- the short, thick, pointed sensory receptors of the eye that detect color  Responsible for color vision and visual acuity  7 million cones  Adapt quickly (5 minutes)  Fovea- a small area in the center of the retina, composed entirely of cones, where visual information is most sharply focused o Optic disk- area of the retina without rods or cones, where the optic nerve exits the back of the eye o Blind spot- the point at which the optic nerve leaves the eye, producing a small gap in the field of vision  Processing visual information o Ganglion cells- in the retina, the specialized neurons that connect to the bipolar cells; the bundled axons of the ganglion cells form the optic nerve o Bipolar cells- in the retina, the specialized neurons that connect the rods and cones with the ganglion cells o Optic nerve- a thick nerve that exits from the back of the eye and carries visual information to the visual cortex in the brain o Optic chiasm (feature detectors)- the point in the brain where the optic nerve fibers from each eye meet and partly cross over to the opposite side of the brain  Color vision o Color is not a property of an object, but a sensation perceived in the brain o Color- the perceptual experience of different wavelengths of light o Hue- different wavelengths correspond to our subjective experience of different colors  ROYGBIV o Saturation- corresponds to the purity of the light wave o Brightness- perceived intensity of a color; corresponds to the amplitude of the light wave  How we see color o The trichromatic theory- the sensation of color results because cones in the retina are especially sensitive to red light (long wavelength), green light (medium wavelength), and blue light (short wavelength)  A given cone will be very sensitive to one of the three colors and only slightly responsive to the other two  George Wald- different cones were activated by red, blue, and green light  Color blindness- one of several inherited forms of color deficiency or weaknesses in which an individual cannot distinguish between certain colors o The opponent-process theory- color vision is the product of opposing pairs of color receptors: red-green, blue-yellow, and black-white  When one member of a color pair is stimulated, the other member is inhibited  Afterimage- a visual experience that occurs after the original source of stimulation is no longer present 3.2  Hearing o Audition- the sense of hearing  What we hear o Sound waves- the physical stimuli that produce our sensory experience of sound o Loudness- the intensity of a sound wave o Amplitude- the intensity or amount of a wave, reflected in the height of the wave; the amplitude of a wave determines a sound’s loudness o Decibel- the unit of measurement for loudness o Pitch- highness or lowness of a sound o Frequency- the rate of vibration, or the number of sound waves per second o Hertz- the unit of measurement for frequency o Timbre- the distinctive quality of a sound, determined by the complexity of the sound wave  How we hear o Sound waves are collected in the outer ear, amplified in the middle ear, and transformed into neural messages in the inner ear o Outer ear- the part of the ear that collects sound waves  Pinna- catches sound waves and funnels then to the ear canal  Ear canal  Eardrum- a slightly stretched membrane that vibrates when hit by sound waves o Middle ear- the part of the ear that amplifies sound waves  3 tiny bones: hammer, anvil, stirrup o Inner ear- the part of the ear where sound is transduced into neural impulses  Cochlea- coiled, fluid filled structure  Basilar membrane- the membrane within the cochlea that contains the hair cells; involved in our determination of pitch o Frequency theory- basilar membrane vibrates at the same frequency as the sound wave  Discrimination of frequencies  A human can hear 20 to 20,000 hertz o Place theory- different frequencies cause larger vibrations at different locations among the basilar membrane  Discrimination of high frequencies  Hair cells- the hair-like sensory receptors for sound o Nerve deafness- damage to the hair cells o Noise exposure is the leading cause of hearing loss  The chemical and body senses o Olfaction- smell o Gustation- taste o Anosmia- unable to smell specific odors or lack a sense of smell completely  How we smell o Sensory stimuli for smell: molecules in the air o Pheromones- airborne chemical signals that provide information about social and sexual status to other members of the same species o Olfactory receptor cells are constantly being replaced. Each cell only lasts 30-60 days o Olfactory nerve- where stimulation is converted into neural messages that pass along their axons o Different combinations of olfactory receptors produce the sensation of distinct odors o Olfactory bulb- the enlarged ending of the olfactory cortex at the front of the brain where the sensation of smell is registered o Olfactory tract- axons from the olfactory bulb o Temporal lobe: part of the neural pathway involved in our conscious recognition of smells o Limbic system: emotional response to odors o Olfactory neurons are the only neurons that directly link the brain and the outside world o Olfactory function tends to decline with age and some diseases  Taste o Sensory stimuli for taste: the chemical substances in whatever you eat or drink  These substances are dissolved by saliva o Taste buds- sensory receptors for taste that are located on the tongue and inside the mouth and throat o 4 basic taste categories: sweet, salty, sour, & bitter o Umami- Japanese for “delicious”; the taste of monosodium glutamate  Savory; soy sauce flavor o Taste is just one aspect of flavor, which involves several sensations, including the aroma, temperature, texture, and appearance of food  The skin and body senses o Skin senses- provide essential information about your physical status and your physical interaction with objects in your environment  Touch o The skin is the largest and heaviest sense organ o Pacinian Corpuscle- touch receptor located beneath the skin that converts the stimulation into a neural message that is relayed to the brain o Sensory receptors are distributed unevenly among the body  Pain o Pain- an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage o Pain can trigger the withdrawal reflex o Nociceptors- pain receptors in the skin, muscles, and organs  Free nerve endings o Fast and slow pain systems  A-delta fibers  Myelinated  Fast pain system  Sharp, intense, but short-lived pain  Travel to the thalamus, then to the somatosensory cortex  C fibers  Unmyelinated  Slow pain system  Longer lasting throbbing, burning pain  Travel to the hypothalamus and thalamus, then to the limbic system  Transmit messages to the spinal cord  Substance P- a neurotransmitter that is involved in the transmission of pain messages to the brain o Factors that influence pain “gates”  Gate control theory of pain- regulates pain by sending signals down to the spinal cord that either open or close pain “gates” or pathways  Manipulating people’s moods by exposing them to different odors can affect their experience of pain  Intensifying pain  Anxiety, fear, sense of helplessness  Depression and sadness  Negative mood  Social and situational factors  Reducing pain  Sense of control  Positive mood  Endorphins and enkephalins: natural painkillers  Social and situational factors o Sensitization: unwarranted pain  Sensitization- pain pathways become increasingly more responsive over time  Persistent, chronic pain  Movement, position, and balance o Kinesthetic sense- the sense of location and position of the body parts in relation to one another o Kinesthetic- feelings of motion o Proprioceptors- sensory receptors, located in the muscles and joints, that provide information about body position and movement o Vestibular sense- the sense of balance, or equilibrium 3.3  Perception o Bottom-up processing (data-driven processing)- information processing that emphasizes the importance of the sensory receptors in detecting the basic features of a stimulus in the process of recognizing a whole pattern; analysis that moves the parts to the whole o Top-down processing (conceptually driven processing)- information processing that emphasizes the importance of the observer’s knowledge, expectations, and other cognitive processes in arriving at meaningful perceptions; analysis that moves from a whole to the parts o Our perceptual processes help us to organize our sensations to answer:  What is it?  How far away is it?  Where is it going? o Extrasensory perception (ESP)- the detection of information by some means other than through the normal processes of sensation  Telepathy, clairvoyance, psychokinesis, precognition o Parapsychology- scientific investigation of claims of various paranormal phenomena o Gestalt Psychology- school of psychology that maintained sensations are actively processed according to consistent perceptual rules, producing gestalts  Founded by Max Wertheimer  Gestalt- meaningful whole perceptions  Law of simplicity  The perception pf shape o Figure-ground relationship- gestalt principle stating that a perception is automatically separated into the figure, which clearly stands out, from its less distinctive background, the ground  Your ability to separate a scene into figure and ground is a psychological accomplishment o Perceptual grouping  We actively organize the elements to try to produce the stable perception of well-defined, whole objects  Law of similarity- the tendency to perceive objects of a similar size, shape, or color, as a unit  Law of closure- the tendency to fill in the gaps of an incomplete image  Law of good continuation- the tendency to group elements that appear to follow in the same direction as a single unit or figure  Law of proximity- the tendency to perceive objects that are close to one another as a single unit o Depth perception  Depth perception- the 3-D characteristics of an object  Monocular cues- require the use of only one eye  Relative size  Overlap (interposition)  Aerial perspective  Texture gradient  Linear perspective  Motion parallax  Binocular cues- require the use of both eyes  Convergence  Disparity  Stereogram 3.4  The perception of motion o Induced motion- the tendency to assume that the background is stationary  Karl Duncker o Stroboscopic motion- creates an illusion of movement with two carefully timed flashing lights  Perceptual constancies o Perceptual constancy- the tendency to perceive objects, especially familiar objects, as constant and unchanging despite changes in sensory input o Size constancy- the perception that an object remains the same size despite its changing image on the retina  If the retinal image of an object does not change but the perception of its distance increases, the object is perceived as larger o Shape constancy- the tendency to perceive familiar objects as having a fixed shape regardless of the image hey cast on our retina  Perceptual illusions o Our perceptual processes are largely automatic and unconscious o Perceptual illusions- when se misperceive the true characteristics of an object or image o Muller-Lyer illusion- a famous visual illusion involving the misperception of the identical length of two lines o Moon illusion- a visual illusion that involves the misperception that the moon is larger when it is on the horizon than when it is directly overhead  The effects on experience on perceptual interpretations o Influences on perception: education, culture, life experiences, expectations, motives, and interests o Perceptual set- the tendency to perceive objects or situations from a particular frame of reference


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