Psych #5 Test

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sensation

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Psychology

105 Terms

1

sensation

the process by which our sensory receptors and nervous system receive and represent stimulus energies from our environment.

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2

perception

the process of organizing and interpreting sensory information enabling us to recognize meaningful objects and events.

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3

bottom-up processing

analysis that begins with the sensory receptors and works up to the brain's integration of sensory information.

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4

top-down processing

information processing guided by higher-level mental processes as when we construct perceptions drawing on our experience and expectations.

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5

selective attention

the focusing of conscious awareness on a particular stimulus.

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6

inattentional blindness

failing to see visible objects when our attention is directed elsewhere.

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7

change blindness

failing to notice changes in the environment.

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8

psychophysics

the study of relationships between the physical characteristics of stimuli such as their intensity and our psychological experience of them.

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9

absolute threshold

the minimum stimulation needed to detect a particular stimulus 50 percent of the time.

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10

signal detection theory

a theory predicting how and when we detect the presence of a faint stimulus (signal) amid background stimulation (noise). Assumes there is no single absolute threshold and that detection depends partly on a person's experience expectations motivation and alertness.

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11

subliminal

below one's absolute threshold for conscious awareness

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12

priming

the activation often unconsciously of certain associations thus predisposing one's perception memory or response.

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13

difference threshold

the minimum difference between two stimuli required for detection 50 percent of the time. Also called the just noticeable difference (jnd).

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14

Weber's law

the principle that to be perceived as different two stimuli must differ by a constant percentage (rather than a constant amount).

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15

sensory adaptation

diminished sensitivity as a consequence of constant stimulation.

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16

transduction

conversion of one form of energy into another. In sensation the transforming of stimulus energies such as sights sounds and smells into neural impulses our brains can interpret.

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17

wavelength

the distance from the peak of one light or sound wave to the peak of the next. Electromagnetic versions of this vary from the short blips of cosmic rays to the long pulses of radio transmission.

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18

hue

the dimension of color that is determined by the wavelength of light what we know as the color names blue green and so forth.

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19

intensity

the amount of energy in a light or sound wave which we perceive as brightness or loudness as determined by the wave's amplitude.

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20

pupil

the adjustable opening in the center of the eye through which light enters.

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21

iris

a ring of muscle tissue that forms the colored portion of the eye around the pupil and controls the size of the pupil opening.

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22

lens

the transparent structure behind the pupil that changes shape to help focus images on the retina.

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23

retina

the light-sensitive inner surface of the eye containing the receptor rods and cones plus layers of neurons that begin the processing of visual information.

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24

accomodation

the process by which the eye's lens changes shape to focus near or far objects on the retina.

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25

rods

retinal receptors that detect black white and gray necessary for peripheral and twilight vision when cones don't respond.

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26

cones

retinal receptor cells that are concentrated near the center of the retina and that function in daylight or in well-lit conditions. These detect fine detail and give rise to color sensations.

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27

optic nerve

the nerve that carries neural impulses from the eye to the brain.

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28

blind spot

the point at which the optic nerve leaves the eye and no receptor cells are located there.

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29

fovea

the central focal point in the retina around which the eye's cones cluster.

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30

feature detectors

nerve cells in the brain that respond to specific features of the stimulus such as shape angle or movement.

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31

parallel processing

the processing of many aspects of a problem simultaneously the brain's natural mode of information processing for many functions including vision. Contrasts with the step-by-step (serial) processing of most computers and of conscious problem solving.

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32

Young-Helmholtz trichromatic (three-color) theory

the theory that the retina contains three different color receptors—one most sensitive to red one to green one to blue—which when stimulated in combination can produce the perception of any color.

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33

opponent-process theory

the theory that opposing retinal processes (red-green yellow-blue white-black) enable color vision. For example some cells are stimulated by green and inhibited by red others are stimulated by red and inhibited by green.

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34

audition

the sense or act of hearing.

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35

frequency

the number of complete wavelengths that pass a point in a given time (for example per second).

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36

pitch

a tone's experienced highness or lowness depends on frequency.

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37

middle ear

the chamber between the eardrum and cochlea containing three tiny bones (hammer anvil and stirrup) that concentrate the vibrations of the eardrum on the cochlea's oval window.

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38

cochlea

a coiled bony fluid-filled tube in the inner ear through which sound waves trigger nerve impulses

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39

inner ear

the innermost part of the ear containing the cochlea semicircular canals and vestibular sacs.

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40

place theory

in hearing the theory that links the pitch we hear with the place where the cochlea's membrane is stimulated.

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41

frequency theory

in hearing the theory that the rate of nerve impulses traveling up the auditory nerve matches the frequency of a tone thus enabling us to sense its pitch.

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42

conduction hearing loss

hearing loss caused by damage to the mechanical system that conducts sound waves to the cochlea.

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43

sensorineural hearing loss

hearing loss caused by damage to the cochlea's receptor cells or to the auditory nerves also called nerve deafness.

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44

cochlear implant

a device for converting sounds into electrical signals and stimulating the auditory nerve through electrodes threaded into the cochlea.

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45

kinesthesis

the system for sensing the position and movement of individual body parts.

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46

vestibular sense

the sense of body movement and position including the sense of balance.

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47

gate-control theory

the theory that the spinal cord contains a neurological "gate" that blocks pain signals or allows them to pass on to the brain. The "gate" is opened by the activity of pain signals traveling up small nerve fibers and is closed by activity in larger fibers or by information coming from the brain.

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48

sensory interaction

the principle that one sense may influence another as when the smell of food influences its taste.

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49

gestalt

an organized whole. Gestalt psychologists emphasized our tendency to integrate pieces of information into meaningful wholes

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50

figure-ground

the organization of the visual field into objects (the figures) that stand out from their surroundings (the ground).

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51

grouping

the perceptual tendency to organize stimuli into coherent groups.

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52

depth perception

the ability to see objects in three dimensions although the images that strike the retina are two-dimensional allows us to judge distance.

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53

visual cliff

a laboratory device for testing depth perception in infants and young animals.

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54

binocular cues

depth cues such as retinal disparity that depend on the use of two eyes.

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55

retinal disparity

a binocular cue for perceiving depth by comparing images from the retinas in the two eyes the brain computes distance—the greater the disparity (difference) between the two images the closer the object.

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56

monocular cues

depth cues such as interposition and linear perspective available to either eye alone.

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57

phi phenomenon

an illusion of movement created when two or more adjacent lights blink on and off in quick succession.

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58

perceptual constancy

perceiving objects as unchanging (having consistent shapes size lightness and color) even as illumination and retinal images change.

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59

color constancy

perceiving familiar objects as having consistent color even if changing illumination alters the wavelengths reflected by the object.

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60

perceptual adaptation

in vision the ability to adjust to an artificially displaced or even inverted visual field.

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61

perceptual set

a mental predisposition to perceive one thing and not another.

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62

extrasensory perception (ESP)

the controversial claim that perception can occur apart from sensory input includes telepathy clairvoyance and precognition.

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63

parapsychology

the study of paranormal phenomena including ESP and psychokinesis.

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64

Gestalt Principles

Principles that describe the brain's organization of sensory information into meaningful units and patterns.

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65

proximity

nearness

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66

similarity

the tendency to perceive things that look similar to each other as being part of the same group

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67

Continuity

the tendency to perceive things as simply as possible with a continuous pattern rather than with a complex broken-up pattern

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68

Connectedness

Gestalt grouping principle when objects uniform (in color or texture) are linked (no space exists between them) we perceive them as a single unit

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69

Closure

we fill in gaps to create a complete whole object

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70

relative size

a monocular cue for perceiving depth the smaller retinal image is farther away

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71

Interposition

monocular visual cue in which two objects are in the same line of vision and one patially conceals the other indicating that the first object concealed is further away

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72

relative clarity

a monocular cue for perceiving depth hazy objects are farther away than sharp clear objects

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73

relative motion (motion parallax)

Monocular distance cue based on the fact that moving objects appear to move a greater distance when they are close to the viewer than when they are far away

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74

linear perspective

A monocular cue for perceiving depth the more parallel lines converge the greater their perceived distance.

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75

light and shadow

a monocular cue for perceiving depth a dimmer object seems farther away

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76

convergence

A binocular cue for perceiving depth the extent to which the eyes converge inward when looking at an object

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77

light waves

electromagnetic waves that stimulate receptors in the eye

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78

Thalamus

the brain's sensory control center located on top of the brainstem it directs messages to the sensory receiving areas in the cortex and transmits replies to the cerebellum and medulla

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79

occipital lobe

A region of the cerebral cortex that processes visual information

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80

occiptal cortex

vision

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81

bipolar cells

In the retina the specialized neurons that connect the rods and cones with the ganglion cells.

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82

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.

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83

Color

An element of art that is derived from reflected light

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84

Amplitude

Height of a wave

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85

sound waves

a longitudinal wave consisting of compressions and rarefactions which travels through a medium

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86

basilar membrane

A structure that runs the length of the cochlea in the inner ear and holds the auditory receptors called hair cells.

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87

Cilia

The hairlike projections on the outside of cells that move in a wavelike manner. Eyelash.

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88

temporal lobe

A region of the cerebral cortex responsible for hearing and language.

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89

sound localization

the process by which the location of sound is determined

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90

Pinna

outer ear

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91

tympanic membrane

The eardrum. A structure that separates the outer ear from the middle ear and vibrates in response to sound waves.

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92

Ossicles

three tiny bones in the middle ear

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93

chemicals

atoms and molecules

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94

papillae

taste buds

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95

gustory cortex

perception of taste

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96

semicircular canals

three fluid-filled canals in the inner ear responsible for our sense of balance

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97

vision

the ability to see

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98

Muscles

tissues or fibers that cause movement of body parts and organs

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99

Joints

Areas where two or more bones join together

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100

Tendons

Connect muscle to bone

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