PSYCH 100 Wiley Notes Chapter 4

PSYCH 100 Wiley Notes Chapter 4 - Sensation and Perception...

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Sensation and Perception Basic Principles Sensation and Perception Sensation is the process by which the body gathers information about the environment. Perception is the process by which the brain organizes and interprets sensory information. Sensation and perception are really two sides of the same coin. Perception is an active process, rather than a passive process. Basic Principles of Sensation-Perception Three principles emerge with regard to sensation and perception: There is not a one-one correspondence between physical and psychological reality. Sensation and perception are active processes. Sensation and perception are adaptive. Sensation and Perception Sensing The Environment Common Features of Sensory Systems Sensory receptors translate physical stimulation into neural signals (the "transduction" process). Receptors detect physical energy. Light, sound waves, heat, vibration. Law of specific nerve energies: The nature of a sensation depends on the brain pathways activated by the stimulus. Each system has a minimum amount of energy required to activate the system (termed the threshold). Sensation involves decision making ("is that stimulus relevant?") Sensory systems are sensitive to change in stimulation. Frogs have receptors in their eyes that only respond to a small moving black dot. Receptors show adaptation to constant sensory input. Adaptation is important lest we be constantly reminded of our clothes, our watch, and our shoes. Constant stimuli provide no new information about the environment. Thresholds
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Sensory receptors are tuned to a particular form of energy. Auditory receptors in the ear code for sound pressure changes, but not for light. Sensory systems require a minimum amount of energy for activation. The absolute threshold is the level a person can detect 50% of the time. Vision: A candle 30 miles away on a dark clear night. Hearing: a watch ticking 20 feet away in a quiet place.
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PSYCH 100 Wiley Notes Chapter 4 - Sensation and Perception...

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