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49 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
Absolute Threshold
The minimum amount of physical energy needed to produce a reliable sensory experience; operationally defined as the stimulus level at which a sensory signal is detected half the time.
Verticle range of waves (sound or light)
Sound - loudness
Light - Brightness
A state of focused awareness on a subset of the available perceptual information
Basilar membrane
A membrane in the cochlea (the primary organ of hearing; a fluid-filled coiled tube located in the inner ear) that, when set into motion, stimulates hair cells that produce neural effects of auditory stimulation.
Binocular depth cues
Retinal disparity (displacement between horizontal positions of corresponding images in two eyes), convergence (brain using information from eye muslce tension to make judgements of depth), and relative motion parallax (provides info about depth because, as you move, the relative distances of objects in the world determine the amount and direction of their relative motion in your retinal image of the scene)
Optic disk, no receptor cells, where optic nerve leaves eye
Bottom-up processing
Perceptual analyses based on the sensory data available in the environment; results of analysis are passed upward toward more abstract representations
The dimension of color space that captures the intensity of light (amplitude)
Color blindness
Inability to discriminate certain colors. Color blindness comes in pairs because the color system was actually built from pairs of opposites (red and green, blue and yellow)
Complementary Color
Colors opposite each other on the color circle; when additively mixed, they create the sensation of white light
Complex cell
Cells in receptive field that respond most strongly to moving stimulus
Photoreceptors concentrated in the center of the retina that are responsible for visual experiene under normal viewing conditions for all experiences of color
Visual cortex
The region of the occipital lobes in which visual information is processed
Dark adaptation
The gradual improvement of the eyes' sensitivity after a shift in illumination from light to near darkness (cones to rods)
The human infant is born without knowledge or skills and that experience, in the form of human learning, etches messages on the blank tablet of the infant's unformed mind
Information entering a neuron and signaling it to fire
Area of the retina that contains densely packed cones and forms the point of sharpest vision
Frequency (Hz)
The number of cycles in a fixed unit - Determines highness or lowness of sound
Frequency theory
The theory that a tone produces a rate of vibration in the basilar membrane equal to its frequency, with the result that pitch can be coded by the frequency of the neural response
The dimension of color space that captures the qualitative experience of the color of light
An experience of a stimulus pattern in a manner that is demonstrably incorrect but shared by others in the same perceptual environment
Information entering a nuron and signaling it not to fire
When an opaque object blocks out part of a second object, used as a pictorial clue for vision. Gives depth information indicating that the occluded object is farther away than the one occluding it.
Just Noticable Difference (JND)
The smallest difference between two sensations that allows them to be discriminated
Law of Good Continuation
People experience lines as continuous even when they are interupted
Law of proximity
People group together nearest elements
Law of similarity
People group together most similar elements
Crystalline lens changes shapes and amount of light entering the eye. Light passing through pupil is focused by the lens of the retina, lens reverses and inverts light pattern. Ciliary muslces can change thickness of lens and hence its optical properties (near and far objects) in a process called accommodation
View that nature, or the evolutionary legacy that each child brings into the world, is the mold that shapes development
Opponent Pairs
Red Green
Blue Yellow
Receptor cells in the retina that are sensitive to light
Sound quality of highness or lowness; primarily dependent on the frequency of the sound wave
Place Theory
The theory that different frequency tones produce maximum activation at different locations along the basilar membrane, with the result that pitch can be coded by the place at which activation occurs
Proximal Stimulus
The optical image on the retina; contrasted with the distal stimulus, the physical object in the world
The study of the relationshiop between physical stimulation and the behavior or mental experiences the stimuli evoke
Receptor Molecules
What neurotransmitters attach to to complete synaptic transmission (embedded in the postsynaptic membrane)
Receptive Field
The area of the visual field to which a neuron in the visual system responds
Photoreceptor concentrated in the periphery of the retina that are most active in dim illumination; rods do not produce sensation of color
The dimension of color space that captures the purity and vividness of color sensations
The process by which stimulation of a sensory receptor gives rise to neutral impulses that result in an experience, or awareness, of conditions inside or outside the body
Shape constancy
The ability to perceive the true shape of an object despite variations in the size of the retinal image
Simple Cell
Cell in receptive field that responds most strongly to bars of light in their "favorite" orientation
Size constancy
The ability to perceive the true size of an object despite variations in the size of its retinal image
The dimension of auditory sensation that reflects the complexity of a sound wave
What determines whether a neuron fires or not
Transformation or one form of energy into another; for example, light is transformed into neutral impulses
Top-down processing
Perceptual processes in which inofrmation from an individual's past experience, knowledge, expectations, motivations, and background influence the way a perceived object is interpreted and classified
Unconscious inference
Unconscious - the domain of the psyche that stores repressed urges and primitive impulses.... An unconscious urge or feeling
Weber's Law
An assertion that the size of a difference threshold (smallest physical difference between two stimuli that can still be recognized as two stimuli) is proportional to the intensity of the standard stimulus (K = constant)
Change in I/I = K