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genpsych3 - Chapter 3 Sensation and Perception I Sensation...

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Chapter 3 : Sensation and Perception I. Sensation, Perception, and Psychophysics A. Sensation and perception 1. Sensation is the activation of receptors, such as those in the ears or eyes 2. Perception refers to a brain process of understanding stimulation 3. Transduction means converting stimulation into electrochemical activity 4. Adaptation is a loss of sensitivity to continued presentation of a stimulus B. Psychophysics 1. German psychophysicists of the late-1800's studied the link between stimuli and a participant's experience a. Weber's Law describes the just noticeable difference C. Thresholds 1. Absolute threshold: the minimum energy required for 50% detection 2. Differential threshold: smallest amount of stimulation added to a stimulus to produce 50% detection 3. Signal detection theory is a more recent approach that builds on Fechner II. Sensory Systems A. Vision 1. What we see: The visual stimulus a. Wavelengths of light are units of energy detected by rods and cones i. Amplitude and saturation are properties of light waves ii. Radiant light is visible energy emitted by an object iii. Reflected light is light waves that are reflected from objects -difference helps explain additive and subtractive mixture 2. How we see: The visual system a. Many of the eye's structures are "mechanical," serving to let light waves into the
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