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162 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
the adjustable opening in the center of the eye through which light enters.
a ring of muscle tissue that forms the colored portion of the eye around the pupil and controls the size of the pupil opening.
the transparent structure behind the pupil that changes shape to help focus images on the retina.
the process by which the eye’s lens changes shape to focus near or far objects on the 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.
the sharpness of vision.
a condition in which nearby objects are seen more clearly than distant objects because distant objects focus in front of the retina.
a condition in which far-away objects are seen more clearly than near objects b/c the image of near objects is focused behind the retina.
retinal receptors that detect black, white, and gray; necessary for peripheral and twilight vision, when cones don’t respond.
retinal receptor cells that are concentrated near the center of the retina and that function in daylight or in well-lit conditions. The cones detect fine detail and give rise to color sensations.
optic nerve
the nerve that carries neural impulses from the eye to the brain.
the point at which the optic nerve leaves the eye, creating a “blind” spot because no receptor cells are located there.
the central focal point in the retina, around which the eye’s cones cluster.
feature detectors
nerve cells in the brain that respond to specific features of the stimulus, such as shape, angle, or movement.
parallel processing
the processing of several 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.
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.
Opponent- process theory
the theory that opposing retinal processes (red-green, yellow-blue, whit-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.
Color constancy
perceiving familiar objects as having consistent color, even if changing illumination alters the wavelengths reflected by the object.
the number of complete wavelengths that pass a point in a given time (for example, per second).
a tone’s experienced highness or lowness; depends on frequency.
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.
a coiled, bony, fluid-filled tube in the inner ear through which sound waves trigger nerve impulses.
inner ear
the innermost part of the ear, containing the cochlea, semicircular canals, and vestibular sacs.
place theory
in hearing, the theory that links the pitch we hear with the place where the cochlea’s membrane is stimulated.
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.
Conduction hearing loss
hearing loss caused by damage to the mechanical system that conducts sound waves to the cochlea.
Sensorineural hearing loss
hearing loss caused by damage to the cochlea’s receptor cells or to the auditory nerves; also called nerve deafness.
cochlear implant
a device for converting sounds into electrical signals and stimulating the auditory nerve through electrodes threaded into the cochlea.
Gate-control Theory
the theory that the spinal cord contains a neurological “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.
Sensory interaction
the principle that one sense may influence another, as when the smell of food influences its taste.
the system for sensing the position and movement of individual body parts.
Vestibular sense
the sense of body movement and position, including the sense of balance.
Selective attention
the focusing of conscious awareness on a particular stimulus, as in the cocktail party effect.
Inattentional blindness
failing to see visible objects when our attention is directed elsewhere.
Visual capture
the tendency for vision to dominate the other senses.
an organized whole. Gestalt psychologists emphasized our tendency to integrate pieces of information into meaningful wholes.
the organization of the visual field into objects (the figures) that stand out from their surrounding (the ground).
the perceptual tendency to organize stimuli into coherent groups.
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.
visual cliff
a laboratory device for testing depth perception in infants and young animals.
Binocular cues
depth cues, such as retinal disparity and convergence, that depend on the use of two eyes.
Retinal disparity
a binocular cue for perceiving depth: By comparing images from the two eyeballs, the brain computes distance- the greater the disparity (difference) between the two images, the closer the object.
a binocular cue for perceiving depth; the extent to which eyes converge inward when looking at an object. The greater the inward strain, the closer the object.
monocular cues
depth cues, such as interposition and linear perspective, available to either eye alone.
Phi phenomenon
an illusion of movement created when two or more adjacent lights blink on and off in quick succession.
Perceptual constancy
perceiving objects as unchanging (having consistent lightness, color, shape, and size) even as illumination and retinal images change.
Perceptual adaptation
in vision, the ability to adjust to an artificially displaced or even inverted visual field.
perceptual set
a mental predisposition to perceive one thing and not another.
Human factors psychology
a branch of psychology that explores how people and machines interact and how machines and physical environments can be made safe and easy to use.
Extrasensory perception (ESP)
the controversial claim that perception can occur apart from sensory input. Said to include telepathy, clairvoyance, and precognition.
the study of paranormal phenomena, including ESP and psychokinesis.
our awareness of ourselves and our environment.
Biological rhythms
periodic physiological fluctuations.
Circadian rhythm
the biological clock; regular bodily rhythms (for example, of temperature and wakefulness) that occur on a 24-hour cycle.
REM sleep
rapid eye movement, a recurring sleep stage during which vivid dreams commonly occur. Aka paradoxical sleep, b/c the muscles are relaxed (except for minor twitches) but other body systems are active.
Alpha waves
the relatively slow brain waves of a relaxed, awake state.
periodic, natural, reversible loss of consciousness- as distinct from unconsciousness resulting from a coma, general, anesthesia, or hibernation. (adapted from dement, 1999).
false sensory experiences, such as seeing something in the absence of an external visual stimulus.
Delta waves
the large, slow brain waves associated with deep sleep.
recurring problems in falling or staying asleep.
a sleep disorder characterized by uncontrollable sleep attacks. The sufferer may lapse directly into REM sleep, often at inopportune times.
Sleep apnea
a sleep disorder characterized by temporary cessations of breathing during sleep and repeated momentary awakenings.
Night terrors
a sleep disorder characterized by high arousal and an appearance of being terrified; unlike nightmares, night terrors occur during Stage 4 sleep, with two or three hours of falling asleep, and are seldom remembered.
a sequence of images, emotions, and thoughts passing through a sleeping person’s mind. Dreams are notable for their hallucinatory imagery, discontinuities, and incongruities, and for the dreamer’s delusional acceptance of the content and later difficulties remembering it.
manifest content
According to Freud, the remembered story line of a dream (as distinct from its latent, or hidden, content).
latent content
According to Freud, the underlying meaning of a dream (as distinct from its manifest content). Freud believed that a dream’s latent content functions as a safety valve.
REM rebound
The tendency for REM sleep to increase following REM sleep deprivation (created by repeated awakenings during REM sleep).
A social interaction in which one person (the hypnotist) suggests to another (the subject) that certain perceptions, feelings, thoughts, or behaviors will spontaneously occur.
Posthypnotic suggestion
A suggestion, made during a hypnosis session, to be carried out after the subject is no longer hypnotized; used by some clinicians to help control undesired symptoms and behaviors.
A split in consciousness, which allows some thoughts and behaviors to occur simultaneously with others.
Psychoactive drug
A chemical substance that alters perceptions and mood.
The diminishing effect with regular use of the same dose of a drug, requiring the user to take larger and larger doses before experiencing the drug’s effect.
The discomfort and distress that follow discontinuing the use of an addictive drug.
Physical dependence
A physiological need for a drug, marked by unpleasant withdrawal symptoms when the drug is discontinued.
Psychological dependence
A psychological need to use a drug, such as to relieve negative emotions.
Compulsive drug craving and use
Drugs (such as alcohol, barbiturates, and opiates) that reduce neural activity and slow body functions.
Drugs that depress the activity of the central nervous system, reducing anxiety but impairing memory and judgment.
Opium and its derivatives, such as morphine and heroin; they depress neural activity, temporarily lessening pain and anxiety.
Drugs (such as caffeine, nicotine, and the more powerful amphetamines, cocaine and Ecstasy) that excite neural activity and speed up body functions
Drugs that stimulate neural activity, causing speeded-up body functions and associated energy and mood changes.
A powerfully addictive drug that stimulates the central nervous system, with speeded-up body functions and associated energy and mood changes; over time, appears to reduce baseline dopamine levels.
Ecstasy (MDMA)
A synthetic stimulant and mild hallucinogen. Produces euphoria and social intimacy, but with short-term health risks and longer-term harm to serotonin producing neurons and to mood and cognition.
Psychedelic (“mind manifesting”) drugs, such as LSD, that distort perceptions and evoke sensory images in the absence of sensory input.
A powerful hallucinogenic drug; aka acid (lysergic acid diethylamide)
The major active ingredient in marijuana; triggers a variety of effects, including mild hallucinations.
Near-death experience
An altered state of consciousness reported after a close brush with death (such as through cardiac arrest); often similar to drug-induced hallucinations.
The presumption that mind and body are two distinct entities that interact.
The presumption that mind and body are different aspects of the same thing.
A relatively permanent change in an organism’s behavior due to experience.
Associate learning
Associate learning
Learning that certain events occur together. The events may be two stimuli (as in classical conditioning) or a response and its consequences (as in operant conditioning).
Classical conditioning
A type of learning in which an organism comes to associate stimuli. A neutral stimulus that signals an unconditioned stimulus (US) begins to produce a response that anticipates and prepares for the US. Aka Pavlovian or respondent conditioning.
The view that psychology (1) should be an objective science that (2) studies behavior without reference to mental processes. Most research psychologists today agree with (1) but not with (2).
Unconditioned Response (UR)
In classical conditioning, the unlearned, naturally occurring response to the US, such as salivation when food is in the mouth.
Unconditioned stimulus (US)
In classical conditioning, a stimulus that unconditionally-naturally and automatically-triggers a response.
Conditioned response (CR)
In classical conditioning, the learned response to a previously neutral (but now conditioned) stimulus (CS)
Conditioned stimulus (CS)
In classical conditioning, an originally irrelevant stimulus that after association with an unconditioned stimuls (US), comes to trigger a conditioned response.
The initial stage in classical conditioning; the phase associating a neutral stimulus with an unconditioned stimulus so that the neutral stimulus comes to elicit a conditioned response. In operant conditioning, the strengthening of a reinforced response.
The diminishing of a conditioned response; occurs in classical conditioning when an (US) does not follow a (CS); occurs in operant conditioning when a response is no longer reinforced.
Spontaneous recovery
The reappearance, after a pause, of an extinguished conditioned response.
The tendency, once a response has been conditioned, for stimuli similar to the CS to elicit similar responses.
In classical conditioning, the learned ability to distinguish between a CS and stimuli that do not signal an US.
Operant conditioning
A type of learning in which behavior is strengthened if followed by a reinforcer or diminished if followed by a punisher.
Respondent behavior
Behavior that occurs as an automatic response to some stimulus; skinner’s term for behavior learned through classical conditioning.
Operant behavior
Behavior that operates on the environment, producing consequences.
Law of effect
Thorndike’s principle that behaviors followed by favorable consequences become more likely, and that behaviors followed by unfavorable consequences become less likely.
Operant chamber
A chamber aka a skinner box, containing a bar or key that an animal can manipulate to obtain a food or water reinforcer, which with attached devices to record the animal’s rate of bar pressing or key pecking. Used in operant conditioning research.
An operant conditioning procedure in which reinforcers guide behavior toward closer and closer approximations of the desired behavior.
Positive reinforcement
Increasing behaviors by presenting positive stimuli, such as food. A positive reinforcer is any stimulus that, when presented after a response, strengthens the response.
Negative reinforcement
Increasing behaviors by stopping or reducing negative stimuli, such as shock. A negative reinforcer is any stimulus that, when removed after a response, strengthens the response. (negative reinforcement is not punishment).
Primary reinforcer
An innately reinforcing stimulus, such as one that satisfies a biological need.
Conditioned reinforcer
A stimulus that gains its reinforcing power through its association with a primary reinforcer; aka secondary reinforcer.
Continuous reinforcement
Reinforcing the desired response ever time it occurs.
Partial (intermittent) reinforcement
Reinforcing a response only part of the time; results in slower acquisition of a response but much greater resistance to extinction than does continuous reinforcement.
Fixed-ratio schedule
In operant conditioning, a reinforcement schedule that reinforces a response only after a specified number of responses.
Variable-ratio schedule
In operant conditioning, a reinforcement schedule that reinforces a response after an unpredictable number of responses.
Fixed-interval schedule
In operant conditioning, a reinforcement schedule that reinforces a response only after a specified time has elapsed.
Variable-interval schedule
In operant conditioning, a reinforcement schedule that reinforces a response at unpredictable time intervals.
Cognitive map
A mental representation of the layout of one’s environment. For example, after exploring a maze, rats act as if they have learned a cognitive map of it.
Latent learning
Learning that occurs but is not apparent until there is an incentive to demonstrate it.
Intrinsic motivation
A desire to perform a behavior for its own sake.
Extrinsic motivation
A desire to perform a behavior due to promised rewards or threats of punishment.
The process of observing and imitating a specific behavior.
Mirror neurons
Frontal lobe neurons that fire when performing certain actions or when observing another doing so. The brain’s mirroring of another’s action may enable imitation, language learning, and empathy.
Prosocial behavior
Positive, constructive, helpful behavior. The opposite of antisocial behavior.
The persistence of learning over time through the storage and retrieval of information.
Flashbulb memory
A clear memory of an emotionally significant moment or event.
The processing of information into the memory system
the retention of encoded information over time.
The process of getting information out of memory storage.
Sensory memory
The immediate, very brief recording of sensory information in the memory system.
Short-term memory
Activated memory that holds a few items briefly, such as the seven digits (+/- 2) of a phone number while dialing, b4 the information is stored or forgotten.
Long-term memory
The relatively permanent and limitless storehouse of the memory system. Includes knowledge, skills, and experiences.
Working memory
A newer understanding of short-term memory that involves conscious, active processing of incoming auditory and visual-spatial information, and of information retrieved from long-term memory.
Automatic processing
Unconscious encoding of incidental information, such as space, time, and frequency, and of well-learned information, such as word meanings.
Effortful processing
Encoding that requires attention and conscious effort.
The conscious repetition of information, either to maintain it in consciousness or to encode it for storage.
Spacing effect
The tendency for distributed study or practice to yield better long-term retention than is achieved through massed study or practice.
Serial position effect
Our tendency to recall best the last and first items in a list.
Visual encoding
The encoding of picture images
Acoustic encoding
The encoding of sound, especially the sound of words.
Semantic encoding
The encoding of meaning, including the meaning of words.
Mental pictures; a powerful aid to effortful processing, especially when combined with semantic encoding.
Memory aids, especially those techniques that use vivid imagery and organizational devices.
Organizing items into familiar, manageable units; often occurs automatically.
Iconic memory
A momentary sensory memory of visual stimuli; a photographic or picture-image memory lasting no more than a few tenths of a second.
Echoic memory
A momentary sensory memory of auditory stimuli; if attention is elsewhere, sounds and words can still be recalled within 3 or 4 seconds.
Long-term-potentiation (LTP
An increase in a synapse’s firing potential after brief, rapid stimulation. Believed to be a neural basis for learning and memory.
The loss of memory
Implicit memory
Retention independent of conscious recollection. Aka procedural memory.
Explicit memory
Memory of facts and experiences that one can consciously know and “declare.” Aka declarative memory.
A neural center that is located in the limbic system and helps process explicit memories for storage.
A measure of memory in which the person must retrieve information learned earlier, as on a fill-in-the-blank test.
A measure of memory in which the person need only identify items previously learned, as on a multiple-choice test.
A memory measure that assesses the amount of time saved when learning material for a second time.
Déjà vu
That eerie sense that “I’ve experienced this before.” Cues from the current situation may subconsciously trigger retrieval of an earlier experience.
Mood-congruent memory
The tendency to recall experiences that are consistent with one’s current good or bad mood.
Proactive interference
The disruptive effect of prior learning on the recall of new information.
Retroactive interference
The disruptive effect of new learning on the recall of old information.
In psychoanalytic theory, the basic defense mechanism that banishes from consciousness anxiety-arousing thoughts, feelings, and memories.
Misinformation effect
Incorporating misleading information into one’s memory of an event.
Source amnesia
Attributing to the wrong source an event we have experienced, heard about, read about, or imagined. Aka misattribution. Source amnesia, along with the misinformation effect, is at the heart of many false memories