Lec 1- introduction - Lecture 1 Introduction Notes made...

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Lecture 1 – Introduction Notes made from chapter 1 from Goldstein, and some from chapter 5 of gazzniga and heatherton. Because of the ease we perceive, many people take them for granted and do not understand how incredibly complicated they are. Perception does not just simply happen it is the result of many complex processes, many of which are not available to your conscious awareness. One purpose of perception is to inform us about the properties of the environment that are important for our survival; our perceptual system does this by creating a likeness of the environment around us in our minds. Most of us take our ability to perceive for granted, but imagine what life would be like without any senses at al, or even just without one. Most people who lose one manage to cope, but imagine if you were born with no senses, could you develop language? Undoubtedly your experience would be barren and you survival would depend on others. One reason to study perception is to satisfy our intellectual curiosity about something that is very important in our lives. But there are more practical reasons; studying perception helps us understand brain damage and disease and make safety suggestions for drivers, pilots etc. Understanding perception is an important step towards being able to restore perception to those who have lost it. TRANSDUCTION- a process by which sensory receptors produce neural impulses when they receive physical or chemical stimulation. ABSOLUTE THRESHOLD- the minimum intensity of stimulation that must occur before one can experience a sensation. DIFFERENCE THRESHOLD- the minimum amount of change required in order to detect a difference between intensities of stimuli. The scientific study of sensation and perception began in 19 th century Germany. GUSTAV THEODOR FECHNER a physicist, sought to relate perceptual experience to physical stimuli, PSYCHOPHYSICS was born. WEBER’S LAW- ∆ I / I = K Just Noticeable Difference / Intensity of standard stimulus = constant The difference threshold for a stimulus is a constant proportion of its intensity FECHNER’S LAW (on in the relationship between sensation and stimulus intensity) S=k log I S – magnitude of sensory experience k – is a constant I – physical intensity of the stimulus The strength of the sensory experience grows as the LOGARITH of stimulus intensity, i.e. when stimulus intensities are high, large increases in physical intensity register as much smaller changes in experienced sensations.
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This note was uploaded on 05/04/2008 for the course PSYCH 2006 taught by Professor Newellf during the Winter '06 term at Trinity College Dublin.

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Lec 1- introduction - Lecture 1 Introduction Notes made...

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