Psy 201, Chapter 5 Notes - Chapter 5 Sensation and...

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Chapter 5: Sensation and Perception Introduction: Synthesia - the “misinterpretation” of stimuli using a completely different sense than the one normally used o Ex 1: Numbers being colors (5 is red, 9 is purple) o Ex 2: Driving experience has the taste of pistachio ice cream and earwax V.S. Ramachandran- “Because the brain area involved in seeing colors is near the brain area involved in understanding numbers, he theorized that in people with color/number synthesia, these two brain areas are somehow connected” o Experiment: Participants with synthesia and patients without synthesia looked at black numbers against white backgrounds o Results: Synthesia participants experienced neural activity in the brain are responsible for color vision whereas the patients without synthesia did not. A number of brain regions work together to convert physical information from the environment (ex.: light and sound waves, chemicals, air temperature, physical pressure, etc.) into meaningful forms (ex.: the smell of a spring day, the feeling of holding hands, the sight of a person we love, etc.) Our experience of the world (what we see, hear, taste, smell, or touch) results from brain processes that actively construct perceptual experiences from sensory information This allows us to adapt to the details of our physical environments 5.1: How Does Perception Emerge from Sensation? Sensation - the detection of physical stimuli and transmission of that information to the brain o The basic experience of physical stimuli (ex.: light or sound waves, temperature or pressure changes, etc.) o Involves no interpretation of what we are experiencing o The essence of sensation is detection Perception - the brain’s further processing, organization, and interpretation of sensory information o Results in our conscious experience of the world o The essence of perception is the construction of useful and meaningful information about a particular sensation Sensation and perception are integrated into experience; experience guides sensation and perception o Bottom-up processing - based on the physical feature of the stimulus; as each sensory aspect of a stimulus is processed, the aspects build up into perception of that stimulus o Top-down processing - how knowledge, expectations, or past experiences shape the interpretation of sensory information (biased view); context affects perception; what we expect to see (higher level) influences what we perceive (lower level)
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