Psych 312 - Psych 312 Monday January 8 2007 Sensation the...

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Psych 312 - Monday, January 8, 2007/January 14, 2008 Sensation - the initial process of detecting and encoding environmental energy. –What goes on inside the sense organs- Sensory Psychologists study the sense receptor organs. Perception - the process of organizing and interpreting sensations into meaningful experiences. Perceptual psychologists study how the brain interprets information from the sense organs. Brief history of Perception Research - GREEKS - Plato (400 BC) Contribution: developed Emanation theory: an inner fire sends out rays through the eyes that bring back information from the world. Problem: we can't see in the dark. Epicurus (300 BC) Contribution: Copy theory: objects shed faint copies of themselves and these enter our eyes and give rise to vision. Middle Ages - Alhazen (965- 1039 AD) Arabian scientist. Contribution: thought that the pupil of the eye worked like a pinhole camera. (made with a shoebox) Problem: the pupil is too large to serve as an effective pinhole. Kepler (AD 1600) (astronomer discovered the elipitical pattern of the planets) Contribution: astronomer who demonstrated that the eye uses lenses to create an image. (he killed a cat and connected it's eye ball to a screen to show what it did.) Johannes Muller (1801-1858) (black spot if you press on your eye manually) Suggested that mechanical stimulation of the optic nerve produces sight. Contribution: developed the doctrine of specific nerve energies. -----Doctrine of specific nerve energies(1826): the quality of the sensation elicited by a stimulus is determined primarily by the nerve excited and secondarily by the stimulus itself. Aristotle found that we had 5 senses. (temperature, spicey to taste...these seem to be different form these 5 senses) Synesthesia: a condition in which stimulation of one sense evokes an involuntary experience in another sense. (seeing a color when a note is played on the piano, this is known as chromesthesia- these ppl have connections between visual and auditory senses in their brain) People with synesthesia show abnormally high activity in the left temporal lobe (an area associated with both hearing and vision) this supporting the Doctrine of Specific Nerve Energies Psychological Investigations of Perception EH Weber (said Bay-ber) (1834) Contribution: founder of the field of psychophysics and the first person to study the difference threshold. Psychophysics: They study of the relationship between the physical properties of a stimulus and the subjects experience of the stimulus. Difference threshold: how different the intensities of two stimuli must be before we can tell them apart. Weber's Law: Delta(triangle) i divided by i equals K (K is always .02 with weight and is different with other senses) Where: i is the intensity of the original stimulus
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delta i is the increment in intensity that can just be discriminated from i ( i is the just noticible difference (JND)) and k is a constant that depends on the sense being measured.
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