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Sensation & perception Notes.doc - Sensation & perception:...

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Sensation & perception:SensationSensation is the process by which our senses gather information and send it to the brain.A largeamount of information is being sensed at any one time such as room temperature, brightness ofthe lights, someone talking, a distant train, or the smell of perfume.With all this informationcoming into our senses, the majority of our world never gets recognized.We don't notice radiowaves, x-rays, or the microscopic parasites crawling on our skin.We don't sense all the odorsaround us or taste every individual spice in our gourmet dinner.We only sense those things weare able too since we don't have the sense of smell like a bloodhound or the sense of sight like ahawk; our thresholds are different from these animals and often even from each other.Absolute ThresholdThe absolute threshold is the point where something becomes noticeable to our senses.It is thesoftest sound we can hear or the slightest touch we can feel.Anything less than this goesunnoticed.The absolute threshold is therefore the point at which a stimuli goes fromundetectable to detectable to our senses.Difference ThresholdThe minimum amount of change in sensory stimulation needed to recognize that a change hasoccurred is known as the just-noticeable difference.Psycho-Physics: the branch of psychology that deals with the relations between physical stimuliand mental phenomena.Signal Detection TheoryHave you ever been in a crowded room with lots of people talking?Situations like that can makeit difficult to focus on any particular stimulus, like the conversation we are having with a friend.We are often faced with the daunting task of focusing our attention on certain things while at thesame time attempting to ignore the flood of information entering our senses.When we do this,we are making a determination as to what is important to sense and what is background noise.This concept is referred to as signal detection because we attempt detect what we want to focuson and ignore or minimize everything else.Sensory AdaptationThe last concept refers to stimuli which has become redundant or remains unchanged for anextended period of time.Ever wonder why we notice certain smells or sounds right away andthen after a while they fade into the background?Once we adapt to the perfume or the ticking ofthe clock, we stop recognizing it.This process of becoming less sensitive to unchanging stimulusis referred to as sensory adaptation, after all, if it doesn't change, why do we need to constantlysense it?Bottom-Up and Top-Down ProcessingPsychologists distinguish between bottom-up and top-down processing in sensation and perception. In bottom-up processing, sensory receptorsregister information about the external environment and send it up to the brain forinterpretation. Bottom-up processing means taking in information and trying to make sense of
it. An example of bottom-up processing might be the way you experience a song the first time

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Term
Winter
Professor
N/A
Tags
Depth perception

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