Perception

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heuristics are...

rules-of-thumb that can be applied to guide decision-making based on a more limited subset of the available information

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The brain continuously makes predictions about the world and tests these against ______________

sensory evidence

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the brain has evolved to __________

reconstruct reality in a way that is useful to us

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one way to learn how a complex system is organised is...

by studying situations where it makes mistakes

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mental life gets more complex with more ______

sensory stimuli

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Define psychophysics

scientific method for investigation of relationships between physical stimuli and psychological experience

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The "absolute threshold" is...

the smallest amount of stimulation needed for a person to detect that stimulus 50% of the time

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Example of absolute sensory threshold: Vision

candle flame 30 miles away on a dark, clear night

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Example of absolute sensory threshold: Hearing

a clock's tick 20 feet away when all is quiet

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Example of absolute sensory threshold: Touch

a fly's wing falling on the cheek from 1 cm away

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Example of absolute sensory threshold: Smell

a single drop of perfume diffused through an area equivalent to the volume of six rooms

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Define difference threshold.

the minimum difference in stimulus intensity necessary to tell two stimuli apart

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What is another name for the difference threshold?

just noticeable difference (JND)

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What is the difference threshold or JND dependent on?

the magnitude of the stimuli

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Weber-Fechner law:

CHANGE in INTENSITY over INTENSITY equals WEBER FRACTION (K)

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Weber-Fechner law states that...

JND is a constant proportion of standard stimulus intensity

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Weber fraction - light intensity

0.079

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Weber fraction - sound intensity

0.048

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Weber fraction - salt taste

0.083

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Psychophysics marked the beginning of ___________

experimental psychology

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Define signal detection theory.

a method of differentiating a person's ability to discriminate the presence and absence of a stimulus (or different stimulus intensities) from the criterion the person uses to make responses to those stimuli.

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Hits are ______

identifying correct stimulus

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A false alarm is when _______

subject identifies stimulus but there is no stimulus there

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Light is ______

the visual part of the electromagnetic spectrum

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Define visual acuity.

The ability to see fine detail

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Visible light is ________

The portion of electromagnetic spectrum seen

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Colour _______ exist in the outside world

does

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Colour _________ exist in the outside world

doesn't

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The lens of an eye expands and contracts to ____________

control how light falls on the retina

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The optic nerve has ______

photoreceptors

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There are no photoreceptors in the _________

blind spot

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retinal image is ________ in passing through the lens

inverted

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topographic meaning

map like -> reflects real world spatial relationships

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visual signals relay to primary visual cortex via ___________

lateral geniculate nucleus

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Receptive field

Region of sensory surface that, when stimulated, causes a change in the firing rate of that neuron

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The visual system represents the world __________

Topographically

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The basic elements within the visual world (e.g. edges, colour, movement) are delivered by ________

bottom-up hierarchical processes

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feature detectors are _________

the building blocks of perception

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Our feature detectors are wired to _______

detect changes

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the brain can solve complex tasks by _________

breaking them down into many, much simpler sub-tasks

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High-level phenomena can be understood in terms of _____

simple low-level mechanisms

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motions perception is _______

relative

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space constancy is __________

when we factor out self-generated movement, to perceive only movement arising in the world

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motion is a powerful cue for __________

alerting, orienting and for form perception

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perceptual constancies mean we can see real, unchanging properties in the world despite _____________

LARGE changes in stimulation

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What does colour vision do for us?

  1. helps us classify and identify objects

  2. is important signalling mechanism in nature

  3. facilitates perceptual organisation of scene into distinct objects

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The colour of an object or substance is determined by __________________

the wavelengths of light that it reflects (or that pass through it)

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There are two basic classes of ___________

Photoreceptor

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What are the two basic classes of photoreceptor?

rods and cones

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Modalities

sensory brain regions that process different components of the perceptual world

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sensation

simple awareness due to the stimulation of a sense organ

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perception

the organisation, identification and interpretation of a sensation in order to form a mental representation

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transduction

what takes place when many senses in the body convert physical signals from the body into neural signals sent to the central nervous system.

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D prime (D')

A statistic that gives a relatively pure measure of the observer's sensitivity or ability to detect signals

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Sensory adaptation

sensitivity to prolonged stimulation tends to decline over time as an organism adapts to current conditions

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retina

light-sensitive tissue lining thew back of the eyeball

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accomodation

the process by which the eye maintains a clear image on the retina

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Cones

photoreceptors that detect colour, operate under normal daylight conditions and allow us to focus on fine detail

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Rods

photoreceptors that only become active under low light conditions for night vision

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Fovea

an area of the retina where vision is the clearest and there are no rods at all

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Trichromatic Colour Representation

the pattern of responding across the three types of cones that provides a unique code for each colour

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colour opponent system

pairs of visual neurons that work in opposition

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Area v1

the initial processing region of the primary visual cortex

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topographic visual organisation

adjacent neurons process adjacent portions of the visual field

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visual form agnosia

the inability to recognise objects by sight

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affordances

potentials for possible actions by agents acting on the environment

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binding problem

how features are linked together so that we see unified objects in our visual world rather than free floating or miscombined features

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illusory conjunction

a perceptual mistake where features from multiple objects are incorrectly combined

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feature integration theory

a theory that proposes that attention binds individual features together to comprise a composite stimulus

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synaesthesia

the perceptual experience of one sense that is evoked by another sense

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modularisation

the process of relatively encapsulated function

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perceptual constancy

a perceptual principle that even as aspects of sensory signals change, perception remains constant

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template

a mental representation that can be directly compared to a viewed shape in the retinal image

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structural enconding

how a pattern is represented

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monocular depth cues

aspects of a scene that yield information about depth when viewed with only one eye

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binocular disparity

the difference in the retinal image of the two eyes that provides information about depth

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motion parallax

a depth cue based on the movement of the head over time

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apparent motion

the perception of movement as a result of alternating signals appearing in rapid succession in different locations

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pitch

how high or low a sound is

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loudness

a sound's intensity

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timbre

a listener's experience of sound quality or resonance

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cochlea

a fluid-filled tube that is in the organ of auditory transduction

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basilar membrane

a structure in the inner ear that undulates when vibrations from the ossicles reach the cochlear fluid

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hair cells

specialised auditory receptor neurons embedded in the basilar membrain

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