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68 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
The process in which sensory signals are transformed into neural impulses
a process that results in decreasing responsiveness to a stimuli
cocktail-party phenomenon
the involuntary switch in attention that occurs when someone calls your name across the room
activation of our senses
process of understanding these sensations
dominant sense in human beings
4 steps
step 1: gather light
step 2: translated in eye
step 3: transduction
step 4: in brain
light intensity
how much energy the light contains
protective covering of the eye that helps focus the light
"shutter" of the eye that the light goes in through
muscle that controls the pupil
focuses light that enters the pupil, curved and flexible in order to focus light
screen no the back of the eye that upside-down and inverted light images are projected onto
first layer of cells on the retina, directly activated by light that are activated by color

concentrated towards the center of the retina
first layer of cells on the retina, directly activated by light that are activated by black and white

peripheral vision relies on this
indentation at the very center of the retina that contains the highest concentration of cones
ganglion cells
the last layer of cells on the retina - the axons of ganglion cells make up the optic nerve that sends impulses
lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN)
specific region in the thalamus where impulses sent by the eye are sent - from here, messages are sent to the visual cortices located in the occipital lobes of the brain
blind spot
the spot where the optic nerve leaves the retina - has no rods or cones
optic nerve
made up of axons of ganglion cells - impulses from the left side go to the left hemisphere and vice versa with right
optic chiasm
spot where nerves cross each other
feature detectors
activated by impulses from retinal cells, detect vertical lines, cruves, motion, and etc
trichromatic theory
theory hypothesizes that we have three types of cones that detect red, blue, and green that combine to form colors we see - does not explain after images and color blindness
opponent-process theory
sensory receptors in the retina come in pairs - if one sensor is stimulate, its pair is inhibited from firing - explains afteriamges - fatique after a while and pair will fire and you'll see afterimage
ear canal
canal sounds waves travel down
ear drum
tympanic membrane - thin membrane that vibrates as the sound waves hit it - head of a drum
hammer, anvil, stirrup
series of three small bones attached to the tympanic membrane
oval window
membrane attached to the cochlea
structure shaped like a snail's shell - filled with fluid - as the oval window vibrates, the fluid moves

floor is lined with hair cells
organ of corti
attached to the cochlea - neurons activated by movement of hair cells - when fluid moves, hair cells move and transduction occurs
place theory
hair cell sin the cochlea respond to different frequencies of sound based on where they are located in the cochlea - accurately describes how higher pitches are sensed
frequency theory
lower tones are sensed by the rate at which the cells fire. hair cells fire at different rates in the cochlea
conduction deafness
something goes wrong with the system of conduction (organs within ear)
senorineural deafness
hair cells in the cochlea are damaged by loud noise - prolonged exposure to noise that loud can permanently damage the hair cells of your cochlea
pain receptors
nerve ending that responds to sharp simulation - useful in potentially dangerous situations
gate-control theory
some pain messages have higher priority than others
bumps you can see on the back of your tongue - the more densely packed together on the tongue, the more intense taste
taste buds
located all over the tongue and some parts of the cheek and roof of mouth
4 taste senses
sweet, salty, sour, and bitter
olfactory bulbs
are in olfactory system that receives olfactory receptor cells and sends them to the brain - nerve fibers from this connect to the brain at the amugdala and the hoppocampus
limbic system
system that receives information from the olfactory system made up of the amygdala and hiipocampus responsible for emotional impulses and memory
why is smell such a powerful trigger for memories?
olfactory senses connect directly to the amugdala and hoppocampus which are responsible for emotional impulses and memory. All other sense impulses are sent through the thalamus before being sent to the appopriate cortices
vestibular sense
tells us about how our body is oriented in space - controlled by three semicircular canals (partially filled with fluid) that give the brain feedback about body orientation
kinesthetic sense
feedback about the position and orientation of specific body parts - receptors in our muscles and joints send information to our brain about our limbs
process of understanding and interpreting snesations
study of the interaction between the sensations we receive and our experience of them
absolute threshold
the smallest amount of stimulus we can detect; the minimal amout of stimulus we can detect 50 percent of the time
threshold of vision
a single candle flame about 20 miles away on a perfectly dark night
stimuli below our absolute threshold
difference threshold
the amount of change necessary before we notice a difference in stimuli
just-noticable difference
smallest amoung of change need in a stimulus before we detect a change
weber's law
stated by Ernst Weber - change needed is proportional to the original intensity of the stimulus
signal detection theory
investigates the effects of the distractions and interference we experience while perceiving the world, also takes into account how motivated we are to detect certain stimuli and what we expect to perceive
false positive
a perceived stimulus that is not really there
false negative
not perceiving a stimulus that is present
top-down processing
perceive by filling in gaps in what we sense by using background knowledge, or our schematas
mental representations of how we expect the world to be
perceptual set
predisposition to perceving something in a certain way
supposed hidden messages musicians recorded backward in their music in the 1980s
bottom-up processing
also known as feature analysis, only using features of the object to build a complete perception (for instance, recognizing a person by their voice)
figure-ground relationship
the relationship between what part of a picture is the groun and which part is the background
objects that are close together are more likely to be perceived as belonging in the same group
objects that are similar in appearance are more likey to be perceived as belonging in the same group
objects that form a continuous form are more likely to be perceived as beloning in the same group
similar to top-down processing, objects that make up a recognizable image are more likely to be perceived as beloning in the same group even if the image contains gaps that the mind needs to fill in
our ability to maintain a constant perception of an object despite these change in angle, variations in light and so on
Visual-cliff experiment
E.J. Gibson's experiment determining when human infants can perceive death - infant placed on one side of a glass topped table that creates impression of a cliff - once infant is old enough to crawl they will not croll across the visual cliff - has developed depth perception
mononcular cues
depth cues that do not depend on two eyes
binocular cues
cues that depend on having two eyes