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85 Cards in this Set

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sensation
The process of receiving sensory data from the environment and translating it to the brain.
receptor cell
A specialized cell that responds to a particular type of energy.
absolute threshold
The least amount of energy that can be detected as a stimulation 50 percent of the time.
adaptation
An adjustment of the senses to the level of stimulation they are receiving.
difference threshold or just-noticeable difference (jnd)
The smallest change in stimulation that can be detected 50 percent of the time.
Weber's law
The principle that the jnd for any given sense is a constant fraction or proportion of the stimulation being judged.
cornea
The transparent protective coating over the front part of the eye.
pupil
A small opening in the iris through which light enters the eye.
iris
The colored part of the eye that regulates the size of the pupil.
lens
The transparent part of the eye behind the pupil that focuses light onto the retina.
retina
The lining of the eye containing receptor cells that are sensitive to light.
fovea
The area of the retina that is the center of the visual field.
rods
Receptor cells in the retina responsible for night vision and perception of brightness.
cones
Receptor cells in the retina responsible for color vision.
bipolar cells
Neurons that have only one axon and one dendrite; in the eye, these neurons connect the receptors on the retina to the ganglion cells.
visual acuity
The ability to distinguish fine details visually.
dark adaptation
Increased sensitivity of rods and cones in darkness.
light adaptation
Decreased sensitivity of rods and cones in bright light.
afterimage
Sensory experience that occurs after a visual stimulus has been removed.
ganglion cells
Neurons that connect the bipolar cells in the eyes to the brain.
optic nerve
The bundle of axons of ganglion cells that carries neural messages from each eye to the brain.
blind spot
The place on the retina where the axons of all the ganglion cells leave the eye and where there are no receptors.
optic chiasm
The point near the base of the brain where some fibers in the optic nerve from each eye cross to the other side of the brain.
feature detectors
Specialized brain cells that only respond to particular elements in the visual field such as movement or lines of specific orientation.
additive color mixing
The process of mixing lights of different wavelengths to create new hues.
trichromatic theory
The theory of color vision that holds that all color perception derives from three different color receptors in the retina (usually red, green, and blue receptors).
color blindness
Partial or total inability to perceive hues.
opponent-process theory
Theory of color vision that holds that three sets of color receptors (yellow-blue, red-green, black-white) respond to determine the color you experience.
sound
A psychological experience created by the brain in response to changes in air pressure that are received by the auditory system.
sound waves
Changes in pressure caused when molecules of air or fluid collide with one another and then move apart again.
frequency
The number of cycles per second in a wave; in sound, the primary determinant of pitch.
pitch
Auditory experience corresponding primarily to frequency of sound vibrations, resulting in a higher or lower tone.
amplitude
The magnitude of a wave; in sound, the primary determinant of loudness.
timbre
The quality or texture of sound; cause by overtones.
oval window
Membrane across the opening between the middle ear and inner ear that conducts vibrations to the cochlea.
cochlea
Part of the inner ear containing fluid that can vibrate, which in turn causes the basilar membrane to vibrate.
basilar membrane
Membrane in the cochlea of the inner ear that responds to vibrations; it contains sense receptors for sound.
organ of Corti
Structure on the surface of the basilar membrane that contains the receptor cells for hearing.
auditory nerve
The bundle of axons that carries signals from each ear to the brain.
olfactory bulb
The smell center of the brain.
pheromones
Chemicals that communicate information to other organisms through smells.
taste buds
Structures on the tongue that contain the receptor cells for taste.
kinesthetic senses
Senses of muscle movement, posture, and strain on muscles or joints.
stretch receptors
Receptors that sense muscle stretch and contraction.
Golgi tendon organs
Receptors that sense movement of the tendons, which connect muscles to bone.
vestibular senses
The senses of equilibrium and body position in space.
gate-control theory
The theory that a "neurological gate" in the spinal cord controls the transmission of pain messages to the brain.
biopsychosocial theory
The theory that the interaction of biological, psychological, and cultural factors influences the intensity and duration of pain.
perception
The brain's interpretation of sensory information so as to give it meaning.
perceptual constancy
A tendency to perceive objects as stable and unchanging despite changes in sensory stimulation.
size constancy
The perception of an object as the same size regardless of the distance from which it is viewed.
shape constancy
A tendency to see an object as the same shape no matter what angle it is viewed from.
monocular cues
Visual cues requiring the use of one eye.
binocular cues
Visual cues requiring the use of both eyes.
interposition
Monocular distance cue in which one object, by partly blocking a second object, is perceived as being closer.
perspective
Monocular distance and depth cues that involve the convergence of lines, the haziness of images, and the relative elevation of objects.
texture gradient
Monocular cue to distance and depth based on the fact that objects seen at greater distances appear to be smoother and less textured.
shadowing
Monocular cue to distance and depth based on the fact that shadows often appear on the part of objects that are more distant.
motion parallax
Monocular distance cue in which objects closer than the point of visual focus seem to move in the direction opposite to the viewer's moving head, and objects beyond the focus point appear to move in the same direction as the viewer's head.
stereoscopic vision
Combination of two retinal images to give a three-dimensional perceptual experience.
retinal disparity
Binocular distance cue based on the difference between the images cast on the two retinas when both eyes are focused on the same object.
convergence
A visual depth cue that comes from muscles controlling eye movement as the eyes turn inward to view a nearby stimulus.
monaural cue
Cue to sound location that requires just one ear.
binaural cue
Cue to sound location that involves both ears working together.
consciousness
Our awareness of how we think, feel, perceive, and experience the world.
waking consciousness
Mental state that encompasses the thoughts, feelings, and perceptions that occur when we are awake and reasonably alert.
altered state of consciousness
Mental states that differ noticeably from normal waking consciousness.
daydreams
Apparently effortless shifts in attention away from the here and now into a private world of make-believe.
circadian rhythm
A regular biological rhythm with a period of approximately 24 hours.
REM (paradoxical) sleep
Sleep stage characterized by rapid-eye movements and increased dreaming.
non-REM (NREM) sleep
Non-rapid-eye-movement stages of sleep that alternate with REM stages during the sleep cycle.
insomnia
Sleep disorder characterized by difficulty in falling asleep or remaining asleep throughout the night.
nightmares
Frightening dreams that occur during REM sleep and are remembered.
night terrors
Frightening, often terrifying dreams that occur during NREM sleep from which a person is difficult to awaken and doesn't remember the content.
apnea
Sleep disorder characterized by breathing difficulty during the night and feelings of exhaustion during the day.
narcolepsy
Hereditary sleep disorder characterized by sudden nodding off during the day and sudden loss of muscle tone, often following moments of emotional excitement.
dreams
Vivid visual and auditory experiences that occur primarily during REM periods of sleep.
psychoactive drugs
Chemical substances that change moods and perceptions.
substance abuse
A pattern of drug use that diminishes the ability to fulfill responsibilities at home, work, or school; that results in repeated use of a drug in dangerous situations; or that leads to legal difficulties related to drug use.
substance dependence
A pattern of compulsive drug-taking that results in tolerance, withdrawal symptoms, or other specific symptoms for at least a year.
depressants
Chemicals that slow down the action of the nervous system and its associated behaviors and cognitive processes.
stimulants
Chemicals that speed up the action of the nervous system and its associated behaviors and cognitive processes.
hallucinogens
Chemicals that produce a significant disruption in waking consciousness.
meditation
Any of the various methods of concentration, reflection, or focusing of thoughts undertaken to suppress the activity of the sympathetic nervous system.
hypnosis
Trancelike state in which a person responds readily to suggestions.