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49 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
What is sensation?
The process by which our sensory receptors and nervous system receive and represent stimulus energies from our environment.
What is perception?
The process of organizing and interpreting sensory information, enabling us to recognize meaningful objects and events.
What is bottom-up processing?
Analysis that begins with the sensory receptors and works up to the brain's integration of sensory information.
What is top-down processing?
Information processing guided by higher-level mental processes, as when we construct perceptions drawing on our experience and expectations.
What is psychophysics?
The study of relationships between the physical characteristics of stimuli, such as their intensity, and our psychological experience of them.
What is absolute threshold?
The minimum stimulation needed to detect a particular stimulus 50 percent of the time.
What is signal detection theory?
A theory predicting how and when we detect the presence of a faint stimulus ("signal") amid background stimulation ("noise"). Assumes there is no single absolute threshold and that detection depends partly on a person's experience, expectations motivation, and level of fatigue.
What is subliminal?
Below one's absolute threshold for conscious awareness.
What is priming?
The activation, often unconsciously, of certain associations, thus predisposing one's perception, memory, or response.
What is difference threshold?
The minimum difference between two stimuli required for detection 50 percent of the time. We experience the difference threshold as a just noticeable difference.
What is Weber's Law?
The principle that, to be perceived as different, two stimuli must differ by a constant minimum percentage (rather than a constant amount).
What is sensory adaptation?
Diminished sensitivity as a consequence of constant stimulation.
What is transduction?
Conversion of one form of energy into another. In sensation, the transforming of stimulus energies, such as sights, sounds, and smells, into neural impulses our brains can interpret.
What are wavelengths?
The distance from the peak of one light or sound wave to the length or sound wave to the peak of the next. Electromagnetic wavelengths vary from the short blips of cosmic rays to the long pulses of radio transmission.
What is hue?
The dimension of color that is determined by the wavelength of light; what we know as the color names blue, green, and so forth.
What is intensity?
The amount of energy in a light or sound wave, which we perceive as brightness or loudness, as determined by the wave's amplitude.
What is an pupil?
The adjustable opening in the center of the eye through which light enters.
What is an iris?
A ring of muscle tissue that forms the colored portion of the eye around the pupil and controls the size of the pupil opening.
What is a lens?
The transparent structure behind the pupil that changes shape to focus images on the retina.
What is accommodation?
The process by which the eye's lens changes shape to focus near or far objects on the retina.
What is a retina?
The light-sensation inner surface of the eye, containing the receptor rods and cones plus layers of neurons that begin the processing of visual information.
What is acuity?
The sharpness of vision.
What is nearsightedness?
A condition in which nearby objects are seen more clearly than distant objects because distant objects focus in front of the retina.
What is farsightedness?
A condition in which far away objects are seen more clearly than near objects because the image of near objects is focused behind the retina.
What are rods?
Retinal receptors that detect black, white, and gray; necessary for peripheral and twilight vision, when cones don't respond.
What are cones?
Retinal receptors 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.
What is the optic nerve?
The nerve that carries neural impulses form the eye to the brain.
What is a blind spot?
The point at which the optic nerve leaves the eye, creating a "blind" spot because no receptor cells are located there.
What is the fovea?
The central focal point in the retina, around which the eye's cones cluster.
What are feature detectors?
Nerve cells in the brain that respond to specific features of the stimulus, such as shapes, angle, or movement.
What is 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 processing of most computers and of conscious problem solving.
What is Young-Helmholtz Trichromatic 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.
What is color constancy?
Perceiving familiar objects as having consistent color, even if changing illumination alters the wavelengths reflected by the object.
What is audition?
The sense or acting of hearing.
What is frequency?
The number of complete wavelengths that pass a point in a given time (for example, per second).
What is pitch?
A tone's experienced highness or lowness, depends on frequency.
What is 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.
What is the cochlea?
A coiled, bony, fluid-filled tube in the inner ear through which sound waves trigger nerve impulses.
What is the inner ear?
The innermost part of the ear, containing the cochlea, semicircular canals and vestibular sacs.
What is place theory?
In hearing, the theory that links the pitch we hear with the place where the cochlea's membrane is simulated.
What is frequency theory?
In hearing, the theory that the rate of nerve impulses traveling up that auditory nerve matches the frequency of a tone, thus enabling us to sense its pitch.
What is conduction hearing loss?
Hearing loss caused by damage to the mechanical system that conducts sound waves to the cochlea.
What is sensorineural hearing loss?
Hearing loss caused by damage to the cochlea's receptor cells or to the auditory nerves; also called nerve deafness.
What is a cochlear implant?
A device for converting sounds into electrical signals and stimulating the auditory nerve through electrodes threaded into the cochlea.
What is gate-control theory?
The theory that the spinal cord contains a neurological "gate" that blocks pain signals or allows them to pass on to the brain. The "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.
What is sensory interaction?
The principle that one sense may influence another, as when the smell of food influences its taste.
What is kinesthesis?
The system for sensing the position and movement of individual body parts.
What is vestibular sense?
The sense of body movement and position, including the sense of balance.
What is opponent-process theory?
The theory that opposing retinal processes (red-green, yellow-blue, white-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.