S_P[1] - Sensation and Perception Sensation and Perception...

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Sensation and Perception Sensation and Perception Sensation and Perception – How does external, physical stimuli get converted into electrical impulses and are integrated into inter-neuron communication? Goes way back to another old debate concerning how we interact with and interpret our physical environment (i.e., stimuli): Passive (Empiricists – e.g., Locke, "tabula rasa") – we don't act on the environment; it acts on us to produce perception, learning, etc. o Remake of Aristotle's deductive reasoning, but relating to perceptual processing (bottom-up – detect stimulus features, group them into categories, organize categories, whole object determined. Active (Nativists – e.g., Kant) – There are innate tendencies and mechanisms for dealing with incoming stimuli – i.e., process of perception; making sense and organization of information. In other words, the environment does act upon us, but we are fully equipped and capable of responding and interacting with our environment in producing perception, learning, etc. o Remake of Plato's inductive reasoning, but relating to perceptual processing (top-down – perception of stimulus activates category to which the stimulus belongs in our memory knowledge structures; expectations dominate perception and perceptual errors here) Would a mixture of these two things be ideal? Three "levels" in perception: Distal stimulus – actual, physical object within one's environment; source of sensation Proximal stimulus – light, sound, etc. features of environment by which the distal object impacts our senses Sensation – Our experience of the distal stimulus (physical response to mediating proximal stimulus) Psychophysics – the method by which we can examine and measure our sensory experience. Weber – the importance in scaling sensory experience is in the proportional difference between two intensities o Weber's Law ΔI/I = c I = stimulus intensity ΔI = the amount that must be added to I in order to produce a JND ΔI/I = Weber's fraction C = constant (i.e., percentage) Fechner – scaling of physical and mental stimuli intensities is not comparable, but can compare within each category o Difference threshold and Justice Noticeable Difference (JND) – smallest stimulus intensity change that an observer can reliably detect; ability to 1
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Sensation and Perception discriminate and is expressed in the measurement units associated with the stimulus that produced the sensation. Signal-detection theory – takes into account other factors that impact participant decisions, including errors and guessing. o Run trials in which no stimulus occurs, for baseline comparison. o
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This note was uploaded on 04/24/2008 for the course PSYC 1101 taught by Professor Leader during the Spring '07 term at Georgia Institute of Technology.

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S_P[1] - Sensation and Perception Sensation and Perception...

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