Study your flashcards anywhere!

Download the official Cram app for free >

  • Shuffle
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Alphabetize
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Front First
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Both Sides
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Read
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off

How to study your flashcards.

Right/Left arrow keys: Navigate between flashcards.right arrow keyleft arrow key

Up/Down arrow keys: Flip the card between the front and back.down keyup key

H key: Show hint (3rd side).h key

A key: Read text to speech.a key


Play button


Play button




Click to flip

75 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
a system that translates info from outside the nervous system into neural activity
must detect, encode, and transfer info
message received from the senses
accessory structures
first step in sensation
modifies energy
ex. outer part of ear, lens of eye
-converts incoming energy into neural activity
-takes place at sensory receptors
-detect certain forms of energy and respond by firing action potential
-ex. change light waves to color
allows neural impulses to be changed into certain properties
doctrine of specific nerve endings
stimulation of a particular sensory nerve provides codes for that sense no matter how stimulation takes place (ex. pressure on eye)
temporal code
changes in the timing of firing
spatial code
location of firing neurons relative to others
absolute threshold
the minimum amount of stimulus energy that can be detected 50% of the time
subliminal stimuli
stimuli too weak or brief to be perceived
supraliminal stimuli
stimuli that fall about the absolute threshold and are consistently perceived
signal-detection theory
predicts how and when a signal will be detected amid background noise
-the ability to detect a stimulus from background noise
-influenced by intensity of signal, capacity of sensory system, amount of background noise
response criterion
-internal rule used to decide whether or not to report a stimulus
-affected by motivation, wants, needs, and expectancies (ex. airport security)
just-noticeable difference
-the smallest detectable difference in stimulus energy that can be detected 50% of the time
-the weaker the stimuli, easier to detect small differences
Weber's Law
-the more intense the stimulus, the greater the increase in stimulus intensity required for the increase to be perceived
-two stimuli must differ by a constant minimum percentage, rather than a constant amount
Light-electromagnetic radiation
-visable light
-electromagnetic radiation of a wavelenght between 400 and 750 nanometers
-does not need a medium to pass through
sensation of light
-light intensity (how much energy the light contains, determines brightness of light)
-light wavelenght (provides color, defferent wavelenghts produce different colors)
-cornea (light enters the curved, transparent, protective layer)
-pupil (light passes through an opening in the eye)
-iris (adjusts the amount of light allowed into the eye)
-lens (lies behind the pupil and bends light rays, focusing them on the retina)
- retina (surface at the back of the eye where light rays are focused)
-specialized cells in the retina that convert light energy into neural activity
-contain photopigments (chemicals that respond to light)
-two types, rods and cones
-has only one pigment
-distributed throughtout the retina, except at the fovea
-faciliatate peripheral vision
-mediate nighttime vision
-receive all colors as shades of gray
-concentrated in center of the retina at the fovea
-mediate daytime vision
-mediate color vision
-provide a sharper image than rods
interactions in the retina
-rods and cones synapse with bipolar cells
-following this, it synapses with ganglion cells
-axons of the ganglion cells gather together to form the optic nerve (carries visual impulses from the retina to the brain)
trichromatic theory
-3 types of color receptors that are each receptive to a different primary color (red, blue, green)
-the ration of the activites of the 3 types of cones indicate what color will be sensed
-color vision is coded by the pattern of activity of the different cones
opponent-process theory
-3 distinct receptors (red green, yellow blue, white black)
-each element signals one color or the other, but never both
-gray results when lights of the 2 colors are mixed together
-supported byt he phenomenon of negative afterimages
-people with normal color vision
-have 3 distinct visual pigments
-lack one of the 3 pigments
-most are red green blind
-have no color vision
-receive visual info through rods only
sex linked recessive trait
-associated with a gene on the X chromosome
-males are more prone to color blindness than females
-repetitive fluctuation in the pressure of a medium like air
-vibrations produce the fluctuations in pressure that constitute sound
-Speech (vocal cords produce vibration into the air, creates waves)
Optic nerve
blind spot
optic chiasm
-half the fibers cross over to the opposite side of the brain
-info from the inner (nasal) half of the retina cross to the opposite side of the brain
-info from the outer (temporal) half of the retina remain on same side
-info from both eyes reaches both sides of the brain
-visual info transmitted to thalamus and then to primary visual receiving area in occipital lobe
-determined by amplitude of the sound wave
-waves with greater amplitude produce louder sounds
-measured in decibels (dB)
-depends on frequency of sound waves
-high frequency = high pitch
-humans can hear between 20-20,000 Hz
-quality of sound
-determined by complex wave patterns
distance from one peak to the next
-number of complete waveforms that pass by a given point in space every second
-measured in hertz (Hz)
-difference between peak and baseline of a waveform
-the crumpled part
-funnels down through the ear canal
-sound waves collect in outer ear
tympanic membrane
-sound waves cause eardrum to vibrate
-hammer, anvil, stirrup
-amplify changes in pressure
oval window
-membrane that seperates middle and inner ear
-vibration is up to 90 times greater at this point
-amplified vibration transmitted to fluid in the cochlea
-movement of fluid in the cochlea bend the auditory receptor cells (hair cells)
-results in neural impulses in the adjacent auditory nerve
-nerve transmits signals through the medulla and thalamus to the auditory cortex of the temporal lobe
Place theory
-describes a spatial code for frequency
-proposed that pitch is determined by the part of the basilar membrane stimulated
-explains the ability to perceive high frequency tones, but does not explain the ability to perceive lower ones
frequency matching theory
-for low frequency sounds, the frequency of nerve impulses matches the frequency of the stimulus
-temporal code
volley theory
-differnt sets of fibers within the auditory nerve fire in successive rounds, with the pattern determining the pitch
-explains the perception of frequencies between 1000-4000Hz
-energy detected from deformation of tissue, ususally the skin
-receptors in or below the skin transduce this info into neural activity
-changes in touch constitute the most important sensory info
coding of touch
-intensity (heaviness) coded by the firing rate and number of neurons stimulated
-location: coded by the spatial organization of the info
-topographical map of brain: differentially sensitive
skin senses
-pressure (only one with identifiable receptors)
-not clear how receptors work together (wetness develops from touching adjacent cold and pressure spots, cold and warm spots produce a feeling of hot)
-receptors are free nerve endings
-A-delta fibers carry sharp pain (myelinated to carry messages quickly)
-C fibers carry chronic, dull aches and burning sensations
gate control theory
-nervous system can process only a limited amount of sensory info at any one time
-when too much info is being received, cell sin the spinal cord act as a gate, blocking some pain signals
-ex. massaging area, distracting activity, hot or cold, can reduce pain
referred pain
-pain sensation in one part of the body is perceived as coming from another part
phantom pain
-pain sensation felt in missing limb
-taste buds are the receptors, grouped together in stuctures called papillae
-10,000 taste buds in mouth
-discriminates between sweet, salty, sour, bitter, umami (enhances other tastes), and astringent (produced by tannins, tea)
-each taste bud responds best to 1-2 of these categories
sweet and bitter
signaled when chemicals fit into specific receptor sites
sour and salty
more direct effects on the ion channels in membranes of taste buds
-smell and taste converge to produce flavor
-food tastes good due to olfactory system more so than the taste system
-olfactory and taste pathways converge in the orbitofrontal cortex, where they also respond to sight and texture of food
-sense odor in upper part of nose
-odor molecules readch olfactory receptors by either passing directly through the nostrils or rising through an opening in the palate
-molecules bind to dendrites in the nose, which leads to action potentials
allow us to know the position of body and what each part is doing
vestibular sense
-provides info about the position of the head in space and its movements
-sense of balance
vestibular sacs
-organs in the inner ear that connect the semicircular canals and the cochlea
-contribute to the body's sense of balance
semicircular canals
tubes in the inner ear whose fluid, when shifted by head movements, stimulates nerve cells
vestibular system has neural connections:
-cerebellum (helps coordinate body movement
-digestive part of ANS (responsible for nausea)
-muscles of the eye (create vestibular-ocular reflexes (when head moves in one direction eyes more in opposite direction, allows us to fixate on one point))
the process through which sensations are interpreted, using knowledge experience, and understanding of the world, to create meaningful experiences
bottom up processing
-aspects of recognition that depend of the info about the stimulus that comes up to the brain from the sensory receptors
-certain cells respond to certain stimuli
-the brain then recombines this data to create the perceptual experience
-certain features are more important than others (rely on large scale features, such as hair and head shape)
top down processing
-use knowledge in making inferences to recognize objects, especially when sensory info is vague
-experiences creat schemas, which then can bias our perception
-can create a perceptual set, a predisposition to perceive a stimulus in a certain way
-makes educated guesses (can lead to wrong conclusions)
network processing
-utilize both top down and bottom up processing
-parallel distributed processing models (various elements of the object are believed to be simultaneously analyzed by a number of widely distributed, but connected, neural units in the brain. Units work in parallel)
-the process of directing and focusing certain psychological resources to enhance perception, performance, and mental experience
-used to direct our sensory and perceptual systems, select specific info for further processing, ignore unwanted stimuli
directing attention
-Voluntary control (purposely focus attention in order to perform a task, reflects top down processing, overt orienting)
-Involuntary attention (bottom up process, abrupt changes in lighting or movement, covert orienting)
ignoring information
inattentional blindness: dont pay attention to certain stimuli in the environment
divided attention
-easy if one task is automatic
-more difficult if both require attention (but if tap different kinds of attentional resources, it is possible)
-if 2 tasks require same kind of attention, performance on both tasks will be poor
parallel processing
-the ability to search for targets rapidly and automatically
-filter out irrelevant info
-stroop test
stroop test
-a measure to assess the ingibition of automatic responses
-it is automatic for us to read words, compared to naming colors, need to inhibit automatic response
gestalt laws
-closure (fill in missing contours of shape)
-common fate
stimuli that occur at the same time are likely to be perceived as belonging together