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83 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
visual illusion
phenomenon that plays on the difference between our perception of a visual stimulus and its physical reality
thin inner surface of the back of the eyeball, contains the photoreceptors that transduce light into neural signals (cones and rods)
size constancy
perceptual principle that allows us to perceive that the size of an object appears to stay independent of its distance or position
Adelbert Ames (1880-1955)
American scientist who studied optics and the psychology of visual perception. He assumed that much of what people perceive depends on what they expect to see based on past experiences and knowledge. Developed Ames Room in the 1940s
experience associated with a simple stimulus. The sense organs' responses to external stimuli and transmission of these responses to the brain.
organization and interpretation of sensory information. the processing, organizing, and interpretation of sensory signals
Three stages of visual processing
I. Modification of light energy by accessory structures of the eye

II. transduction of the stimulus energy into a neural representation

III. perceptual representation of the stimulus
center of the retina, where cones are densely packed "upper stuff" is pushed aside, only made of
cones, no rods
-high light sensitivity, low spatial resolution
types of photoreceptors and their functions
cones: retinal cells that respond to higher levels of illumination and result in color perception (less sensitive to light)

rods: retinal cells that respond to low levels of illumination and result in black and white perception, responsible for night vision
ganglion cells
first cells in visual pathway to generate action potentials, send signals along their axon from inside the eye to the thalamus
optic nerve
bundle of axons
What is the neural code?
-more action potentials (spikes), the more intense the stimulus
-"quality" of the stimulus is defined by the type of the neuron and how it connects with other neurons
translating light (photons) into electrical signals
qualitative information
knowing whether a nearby traffic light is red or green, the difference between sounds, difference between a salty and sweet taste
quantitative information
speed of particular neurons firingm a more rapidly firing neuron is responding at a higher frequency, e.g. brighter light, a louder sound, or heavier weight
coarse coding
sensory qualities are coded by only a few different types of receptors
absolute threshold
minimum intensity of stimulation that must occur before you experience a sensation
temporal summation
action potentials that follow each other within a certain time window will be integrated
Clicker Question:
You wake up in the middle of the night and try to see the clock in the dim light. You will be more likely to be able to read the time if you look at the clock with your ____ because it has the largest number of _____.
b. Periphery; rods
Clicker Question:
A critical part of the neural code consists of:
a. the length of spikes that wander down the neural axons
b. duration of each spike wandering down the neural axons
c. frequency of spikes that wander down neural axons
d. chemicals that wander down the neural axons
c. the frequency of spikes that wander down the neural axons
Clicker Question:
Which of the following constellations is achieved through high neuronal convergence between rods on the one hand and ganglion cells on the other?
c. high light sensitivity, low spatial resolution
receptive field
region of visual space which neurons in the primary visual cortex are sensitive
-consists of center and surround. when there is no light, the cell fires at its baseline rate
-when light shines in the center, the neural firing frequency increases
-when light is shined at surround, neural firing frequency decreases
-when light is shined in center and in surround, cells firing is similar to baseline rate
lateral inhibition
visual process in which adjacent photoreceptors tend to inhibit one another
how do we see?
1. stimuli-light waves must strike your eye to view an image
2. receptor- light waves enter eyeball through pupil, which determines how much light enters, size of pupil is controlled by iris
3. cornea focuses the incoming light, light rays bent farther inward by the lens, which focuses light to form an upside down image on retina
4. rods and cones on retina convert light waves into electrical impulses, signals then are processed by bipolar, amacrine, and horizontal cells, info from these cells is then passed to ganglion cells, which generate action potentials that are transmitted to optic nerve
5. pathway to brain
what creates our "blind spot"?
optic nerve, no receptors at blind spot because it is where the nerves leave the eye
Clicker Question:
If light falls on parts of the off-region of a ganglion cell's receptive field but not on the on-region:
a. the cell's response does not change
b. the cell's response is increased
c. the cell's response in reduced
d. the receptive field starts to shrink
c. the cell's response is reduced
Clicker Question:
There are reasons to believe that the basic way in which neurons in the retina interact:
c. can be found all over the brain
Clicker Question:
The ganglion cells whose firing rates are being decreased during the detection of edges are being inhibited by:
c. light falling on the surrounds of their receptive fields
The more light in the center, the _____the net response. The more light in the periphery, the _____ the net response.
greater; lower
Receptive fields
optimal stimuli-retina-LGA-V1
Clicker Question:
As we go upstream from V1, receptive fields:
C. either become larger and less complex or smaller and more complex.
Where is the primary visual cortex (V1) located?
occipital lobe
auditory neurons in the thalamus extend their axon to primary auditory cortex (A1), which is in the temporal lobe
touch info. from the thalamus is projected to the primary somatosensory cortex (S1), which is in the parietal lobe. the most sensitive areas of the body, such as lips and fingers, have a great deal of S1
primary visual cortex (V1) is in the occipital lobe
Simple cells
respond more to lines of particular orientations
Line orientation/neural firing frequency
1. neuron responds minimally to the vertical bar
2. neuron responds a little more to the slanted bar
3. neuron responds most to the horizontal bar
-firing rate of simple cells decreases as the orientation of the line segment is rotated away from the preferred orientation
Clicker Question:
Of two objects that assume the exact same size on the retina the object that according to surrounding depth cues is closer:
a. will appear smaller
b. will appear larger
c. will appear less dark
d. will appear closer
a. will appear smaller
Important role of primary visual cortex (V1)
extract edges and contours that define the boundaries of an object
Gestalt Psychology
"gestalt" means shape or form, organized whole, and holds that our brains use innate (built in) principles to organize sensory information
Gestalt Principles
1. proximity-the closer 2 figures are to each other, the more likely we are to group them and see them as part of the same object

2. similarity- we tend to group figures according to how closely they resemble each other

3. good continuation- we tend to interpret intersecting lines as continuous (hot dog)

4. closure- we tend to complete figures even when gaps exist (abe lincoln with apple over head)

5. illusory contours- we tend to perceive contours even when they do not exist
objects close to the horizon appear to be ______
farther away
linear perspective
repeating elements of a texture become smaller and smaller as they recede in the distance
familiar size
we know how large familiar objects are, so we can tell how far away they are by their retinal images
texture gradient
as a uniformly textured surface recedes, its texture continuously becomes denser (ex: mountain in distance)
Binocular depth cues
cues of depth perception that arise from the fact that people have two eyes
Monocular depth cues
cues of depth perception that are available to each eye alone
Binocular disparity
a cue of depth perception that is caused by the distance between a person's eyes, which provides each eye with a slightly different image
Stereoscopic vision
ability to determine an object's depth based on that object's projections to each eye
a near object occludes (blocks) an object that is farther away
relative size
far-off objects project a smaller retinal image than close objects do
Four classes of depth cues
monocular cues: pictoral and movement produced

binocular cues: binocular disparity and oculomotor
Clicker Question:
When enjoying Monet's paintings of water lilies, you notice that some lilies appear to be more distant than others because they have been painted smaller and more densely packed. This perception is based on the pictorial cue for depth known as:
a. texture gradient
fits to the intuitive impression that perception of objects is "direct"
Cerebral Achromatopsia
damage to the posterior temporal lobes-patients are unable to discriminate colors
Anne Treisman
psychologist who specialized in study of attention, and proposed that separate systems analyze objects' different visual features. Humans automatically identify primitive features, such as color, shape, orientation, and movement, within an environment.
Parallel Processing
systems all process info. at the same time, and we can attend selectively to one feature by effectively blocking the further processing of the others
searching for two features
flat search function
serves as a criterion for whether or not a particular search is based on a specialized, visual module and thus allows "direct perception" (e.g. horizontal lines)
are letter basic features?
Examples of basic features
line endings are basic features, while circles are not
How are complex, real-world objects recognized?
-derived from non-accidental properties which remain invariant no matter what the viewpoint is
-differ from each other in constellations of non-accidental features
recognition-by-components theory postulates a piecemeal approach where complex objects are constructed from basic building blocks (structuralist approach)
perceiving faces
visual perception of faces activates an are of the brain known as fusiform gyrus. The right hemisphere responds more strongly than the left, especially when faces were presented among objects.
Bottom-Up processing
hierarchical model of pattern recognition in which data are relayed from one processing level to the next, always moving to a higher level of processing
Top-down processing
hierarchical model of pattern recognition in which info. at higher levels of processing can also influence lower, "earlier" levels
-imprints of your knowledge (words, numbers, etc.)
change blindness
inability to see change in the world right in front of our eyes
Clicker Question:
Which of these terms do not fit to an automatic search?
a. attention
b. specialized visual module
c. flat search function
d. pop-out
e. basic/simple visual feature
A. attention
Clicker Question:
Which of these terms do not fit to the finding of a steep search function:
a. feature conjunction
b. attention
c. serial, effortful search
d. parallel processing
e. binding problem
d. parallel processing
Clicker Question:
When we obtain a flat search function we know that the search
a. ...was utilizing a basic visual feature
b. ...was based on a conjunction between basic features
c. ...was serial and effortful
d ...b and c
a. ...utilizing a basic visual feature
Clicker Question:
The integration of basic features through attention as described in the feature-integration theory is reminiscent of _____, the fact that basic features can be much more than just simple sensory experiences fits with ______.
a. structuralism and empiricism; mentalism and gestalt psychology
Clicker Question:
"Non-accidental features" are visual features that:
a. are perceived the same way regardless of the angle from which they are viewed
Clicker Question:
Between which of the following pairs of views can you detect a "theoretical tension"?
a. feature-integration theory and recognition-by-components theory
b. gestalt theory and the idea that faces are presented in a holistic manner
c. gestalt theory and feature integration theory
d. the idea that objects are recognized via templates and the view that faces are presented in a holistic manner
c. gestalt theory and feature integration theory
Clicker Question:
Dreaming is an example of...
b. top-down processing that fully extends to sensory areas
Clicker Question:
Our internal representation of the visual worlds is fairly accurate:
b. for the current focus of visual attention only
Clicker Question:
The idea of Cartesian theatre is incorrect because:
d. doesn't solve homonoculus, and assumes all potentially is actually processed in our mind (a and c)
What ways are faces special?
-harder to recognize face parts than house parts
-process faces in "gestalt" like manner: whole, not just parts
saccadic suppression
constant eye movement, change of position, during change=blindness
Parallel/automatic processing
-automatic, pops out, something red among tons of green
-search function is flat
Conjunctive search
-spatial attention
-similar shapes, harder to decipher than a feature search
-ex: not shooting a human while hunting in the woods for deer
What determines a ganglion cell's receptive field?
neural convergence (between rods and cones)
Template matching
simple recognition device-letters do not use template, but faces do