Lec20 Intro to Sensation & Perception
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Lec20 Intro to Sensation & Perception

Course Number: PSYCHOLOGY PS111, Spring 2009

College/University: BC

Word Count: 1105

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Lecture 20 (04/14/09): Introduction to sensation & perception Finishing up sexual orientation Introduction to sensation and perception The significance of illusions The significance of echolocation Characteristics of sensation Large study: approx. 1000 men, 450 women The % who had not enjoyed sex-typical activities as child: Gay men: 63% Hetero men: 10% Lesbian: 63% Hetero women: 15% Gay men: 48%...

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20 Lecture (04/14/09): Introduction to sensation & perception Finishing up sexual orientation Introduction to sensation and perception The significance of illusions The significance of echolocation Characteristics of sensation Large study: approx. 1000 men, 450 women The % who had not enjoyed sex-typical activities as child: Gay men: 63% Hetero men: 10% Lesbian: 63% Hetero women: 15% Gay men: 48% Hetero men: 11% Lesbian: 80% Hetero women: 61% Gay men: 42% Hetero men: 13% Lesbian women: 60% Hetero women: 40% San Francisco Study of gay, lesbian, and heterosexual adults (Bell et al., 1981): A test of Bems theory The % who had enjoyed sex-atypical activities as child: % whose childhood friends were typically the opposite sex as child: Summary of motivated behavior: Behavior is typically goal oriented and energized. The mechanisms (e.g., instincts, reflex circuits, homeostasis and reward) help explain both adaptive motivated actions and non-adaptive (e.g., overeating). The literature on eating shows that for humans motivation varies as a function of cognitive factors (e.g., awareness) and differences in self-control (e.g., Schachter study). Introduction to sensation and perception What S&P is about Sensation refers to the processes that mediate initial sensory responses to the environment Perception refers to the way we interpret these sensations, including conscious experience Themes in S&P We do not directly experience environmental events; we experience their neural representation Neural representation follows rules that usually but not always provide a more valid picture of the objective world than of the initial sensory experience The retinal image, the object, perception Illusions The rules of perceptual processing are usually not susceptible to conscious manipulation, hence illusions are difficult to abandon, even when we know they are misleading Yao Ming 2 away Yao Ming 4 away Yao Ming 8 away Yao Ming 16 away 2nd Row shows relative size of retinal pattern of stimulation for Yao Ming. I I I I Implications of the illusions Illusions are arranged so that they create an impression (representation) that does not match object as measured by some other technique (light meter, measuring stick) This occurs because perceptual experience depends on processing of input---hence perceptual experience is not direct Processing follows rules Perceptual processing is largely unconscious and not too susceptible to conscious control Implication of perception as coded representation of outside world: Seeing with changes in air pressure (sound waves) If we know the outside world by way of a neural code then different inputs may be interchangeable if they end up producing similar codes This predicts that we could create codes that allow us to navigate without sightif we could find something that substitutes for light.. Sound waves also bounce off of objects..hence it should be possible to tell what is out there by way of echoes. Bats, dolphins, people? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G1QaCeosUmw How to proceed How does information get to the brain: sensory processes and pathways Quantitative relationships between external events and internal representations (psychophysics) Perception: Vision and if time hearing Eye anatomy and function Color vision Depth perception Aspects of object perception Figure 4.1: Elements of a Sensory System Sensory system: a system that transforms external events into neural activity Sensation: sensory system output that is raw material regarding outside world for action and perception Accessory structures capture and modify input Transduction: process of converting incoming energy into neural activity Transduction and transduction strategies the Transduction: conversion of physical energy into changes in the activity of receptor cells of sensory organs. Two transduction strategies: 1. Direct: the external event directly alters sense receptor cells firing rate (touch works like this). 2. Indirect: the external event triggers biochemical changes in the receptor that lead to changes in downstream neurons (e.g., visual perception). Touch: An example of direct elicitation of action potentials. Pressure on touch receptors trigger action potentials (no biochemical mediation). 1. Pacinian corpuscles respond to changes in tactile pressure. 2. Deformation of the corpuscle opens pressure-sensitive sodium ion channels in the axon membrane. This allows sodium ions to influx in, creating a receptor potential. Indirect sensory receptors For vision and hearing sensory receptors do not themselves fire action potentials, but start a chain of events that lead to action potentials downstream Photoreceptorsneurotransmitter-ganglion cell action potential Whats out there? (1) Thresholds Most elementary question: Is something there? Sensory thresholds are very, very low Vision: candle flame at 30 miles One photon/85 mins-action potential Upper limit: 100 photons/sec Effective range: 1 to >500,000 Hearing: tick of clock at 20 feet Touch: Wing of fly on cheek dropped from a 1 cm (0.4) Smell: 1 drop of perfume in a 6-room apartment Taste: 1 teaspoon sugar in 2 gallons of water Whats out there? It is a ..(2) Next most elementary question: What is it? Specific nerve (or coded line) information for different senses Visual information has its own tract, and similarly for the other senses Within a nerve tract (i.e., sense modality) there are fibers for different subsets of the sensation---e. g., certain receptors respond differentially to subsets to different wavelengths of light Next most elementary question about outside world (3): How big an event is it? Differences in magnitude are coded as differences in action potential frequency----see text Question: is there a general rule that relates the magnitude of the stimulus---as measured by a mechanical device---to the magnitude of the sensation that holds for all senses? Psychophysics Gustav Fechner (1801-1887) Believed that psychological and physical worlds were one. Implication: psychological phenomena should follow mathematical rules and correspond in a precise way to physical events What has been found iClicker 1 Imagine that I give you $10. Now, think of how much satisfaction that would provide. That is, how satisfying is a gift of $10? Now, choose the amount of money from below that comes closest to making you four times more satisfied than $10: A = $80 B = $40 C = $320 D = $160 iClicker2 Imagine that I give you $10. Now, think of how much satisfaction that would provide. That is, how satisfying is a gift of $10? Now, choose the amount of money from below that comes closest to making you two times more satisfied than $10: A = $30 B = $40 C = $20 D = $50 iClicker3 Imagine that I give you $10. Now, think of how much satisfaction that would provide. That is, how satisfying is a gift of $10? Now, choose the amount of money from below that comes closest to making you eight times more satisfied than $10: A = $80 B = $1280 C = $640 D = $320 The first stage of sensation & perception We are trapped in our bodies with a two word vocabulary for making sense of the world Transducer cells Low thresholds sensory specific pathways: Sensation asks and answers the questions: Is anything there? If so, what? And how big is it? Next time: does the rule for sensory magnitude apply to evaluation on magnitude of nonsensory experiences, such as how valuable is money? Color vision Intro to perception

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