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43 Cards in this Set

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Plato
Compares our ordinary sense of reality to prisoners in a cave; paints this imaginary picture to emphasize how critically our conception of reality depends on what we can learn about the world through our senses.
Heraclitus
"You can never step into the same river twice."; used this metaphor to stress his view that everything is always changing.
adaptation
A reduction in response caused by prior or continuing stimulation.
Democritus
had almost complete trust in the senses; this trust arose from his radical idea that the world is made up of atoms that collide with one another.; believed that sensations are caused by atoms leaving objects and making contact with our sense organs; this meant that our senses should be trusted because perception is the result of the physical interaction between the world and our bodies; most reliable senses were those that detect the weight and texture of objects
Sensory transducer
A receptor that converts physical energy from the environment into neural activity
Nativism
The idea that the mind produces ideas that are not derived from external sources, and that we have abilities that are innate and not learned.
Dualism
The idea that both mind and body exist.
Monism
The idea that mind and matter are formed from, or reducible to, a single ultimate substance or principle of being.
Materialism
The idea that physical matter is the only reality, and everything including the mind can be explained in terms of matter and physical phenomena. Materialism is a type of monism.
Mentalism
The idea that the mind is the true reality, and objects exist only as aspects of the mind's awareness. Mentalism is a type of monism.
Mind-body dualism
Originated by Rene Descartes, the idea positing the existence of two distinct principles of being in the universe; spirit/soul and matter/body.
Empiricism
The idea that experience from the senses is the only source of knowledge.
John Locke
sought to explain how all thoughts, even complex ones, could be constructed from experience with a collection of sensations;provides us with empiricism's most vivid image: that of the newborn mind as a tabula rasa, or "blank slate" on which experience writes;
George Berkeley
studied ways in which perception, such as perception of distance, is limited by the information available to us through our eyes. Nevertheless, he was convinced that everything we know must come from our sensory experience, no matter how limited it may be.
Gustav Fechner
invented psychophysics and is thought by some to be the true founder of experimental psychology. is best known for his pioneering work relating changes in the physical world to changes in our psychological experiences.
Ernst Weber
discovered that the smallest change in a stimulus, such as the weight of an object, that can be detected is a constant proportion of the stimulus level. This relationship became known as "Weber's Law"
Panpsychism
The idea that all matter has consciousness.
Psychophysics
The science of defining quantitative relationships between physical and psychological (subjective) events.
Two-point threshold
The minimum distance at which two stimuli (e.g. two simultaneous touches) are just perceptible as separate.
Just noticeable difference (JND)
The smallest detectable difference between two stimuli, or the minimum change in a stimulus that can be correctly judged as different from a reference stimulus. Also called difference threshold.
Weber fraction
The constant of proportionality in Weber's law.
Weber's law
The principle that the just noticeable difference (JND) is a constant fraction of the comparison stimulus.
Fechner's law
A principle describing the relationship between stimulus magnitude and resulting sensation magnitude such that the magnitude of subjective sensation increases proportionally to the logarithm of the stimulus intensity.

S= k log R
Absolute threshold
Minimum amount of stimulation necessary for a person to detect a stimulus 50% of the time.
Method of constant stimuli
A psychophysical method in which many stimuli, ranging from rarely to almost always perceivable (or rarely to almost always perceivably different from a reference stimulus), are presented one at a time. Participants respond to each presentation: "yes/no," "same/different," and so on.
Method of limits
A psychophysical method in which the particular dimension of a stimulus, or the difference between two stimuli, is varied incrementally until the participant responds differently.
Method of adjustment
The method of limits for which the subject controls the change in the stimulus.
Receiver operating characteristics (ROC) curve
The graphical plot of the hit rate as a function of the false alarm rate. If these are the same, points fall on the diagonal, indicating that the observer cannot tell the difference between the presence and absence of the signal. As the observer's sensitivity increases, the curve bows upward toward the upper left corner. That point represents a perfect ability to tell signal from noise (100% hits, 0% false alarms)
Signal detection theory
A psychophysical theory that quantifies the response of an observer to the presentation of a signal in the presence of noise. Measures attained from a series of presentations are sensitivity (d') and criterion of the observer.
Magnitude estimation
A psychophysical method in which the participant assigns values according to perceived magnitudes of the stimuli.
Steven's power law
A principle describing the relationship between stimulus magnitude and resulting sensation magnitude, such that the magnitude of subjective sensation is proportional to the stimulus magnitude raised to an experiment.
Doctrine of specific nerve energies
A doctrine formulated by Johannes Muller stating that the nature of a sensation depends on which sensory fibers are stimulated, not on how fibers are stimulated.
Cranial nerves
Twelve pairs of nerves (one for each side of the body) that originate in the brain stem and reach sense organs and muscles through openings in the skull.
Olfactory (I) nerves
The first pair of cranial nerves, which conduct impulses from the mucous membranes of the nose to the olfactory bulb.
Optic (II) nerves
The second pair of cranial nerves, which arise from the retina and carry visual information to the thalamus and other parts of the brain.
Auditory (VIII) nerves
The eight pair of cranial nerves, which connect the inner ear with the brain, transmitting impulses concerned with hearing and balance.The auditory nerve is composed of the cochlear nerve and the vestibular nerve and therefore is sometimes referred to as the "vestibulocochlear nerve."
Oculomotor (III) nerves
The third pair of cranial nerves, which innervate all the extrinsic muscles of the eye except the lateral rectus and the superior oblique muscles, and which innervate the elevator muscle of the upper eyelid, the ciliary muscle, and the sphincter muscle of the pupil.
Trochlear (IV) nerves
The fourth pair of cranial nerves, which innervate the superior or oblique muscles of the eyeballs.
Abducens (VI) nerves
The sixth pair of cranial nerves, which innervate the lateral rectus muscle of each eye.
Polysensory
A blending of multiple sensory systems.
Vitalism
Idea that "vital forces" are active within living organisms, and these forces cannot be explained by physical processes of matter more generally.
Synapse
The junction between neurons that permits information transfer.
Neurotransmitter
A chemical substance used in neuronal communication at synapses