Chapter 5- Textbook - Chapter5:TextbookNotes If sense...

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Chapter 5: Textbook Notes If sense organs are not defective, we sense light waves as brightness’s and colors and chemical substances as odors or tastes and etc But people with synesthesia cant Its when people mix up the senses; experience sounds as colors or taste as touch sensations Women are more likely to be synesthetic than men Its suggested that we’re all born like this: neural pathways of infants are undifferentiated and lead to cross-modal perceptions How it normally works: o Stimulus is received by sensory receptors o Receptors translate stimulus into nerve impulses (transduction) o Feature detectors analyze stimulus o Stimulus is reconstructed into neural representation o This is compared with previously stored info in brain o This results in recognition and interpretation of stimuli People with synthesia cant do this because of cross-wiring One theory for the cause of synthesia says that pruning of neural connections that occurs when your infant doesn’t occur in people with synthesia so bran regions retain connections that are not there in most people This has been proved by diffusion tensor imaging showing increased connectivity in people with synthesia Another theory is that there’s a shortage in neural inhibitory processes that usually keep input from one sensory modality from going into other sensory areas and stimulating them Binding problem: how do we bind all perceptions into one complete whole while keeping its sensory elements separate? Sensation is the stimulus-detection process by which sense organs respond to and translate environmental stimuli into nerve impulses
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Perception is the active process of organizing this stimulus input and giving it meaning (making sense of what our senses tell us) Sensory Processes Transduction is the process where stimulus is converted into nerve impulses Human senses include: o The basic ones: Vision, audition (hearing), touch, gustation (taste), and olfaction (smell) o Also: balance and body position senses o Touch is divided into: pressure, pain, temp o Receptors in brain monitor chemical make up of blood o Immune system has sensory functions to detect foreign invaders and receive stimulation from brain Human sensory system designed to extract info from environment that we need to function and survive Psychophysics: study of relation between physical characteristics of stimuli and sensory capabilities Focuses on 2 types of sensitivity o Absolute limits of sensitivity (ex. Softest sound we can detect) o Differences between stimuli (ex. Smallest diff in brightness we can detect) Stimulus Detection: The Absolute Threshold Researchers give bunch of stimuli at diff intensity to people and ask them to detect to see how intense a stimulus has to be for us to detect it Absolute threshold: lowest intensity at which stimulus can be detected correctly 50% of the time Lower the threshold the greater the sensitivity From this comes estimation of general limits of human sensitivity for the 5 senses Signal Detection Theory
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  • Fall '12
  • SherrieAtwood
  • Psychology, nerve impulses

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