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PsychFinally - Chapter 4 Sensation Perception I The Origins...

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I.) The Origins of Knowledge *An Early View: The Passive Perceiver *Empiricism : a school of though that holds that all knowledge comes by way of empirical experience, that is, through the senses *Passive View : our senses receive and record information much as a camera receives light or a microphone receives sounds *Proponent: John Locke (120) *Tabula Rasa : at birth, the human mind is simply a blank tablet on which experience leaves its mark *Distal And Proximal Stimuli *Distal Stimulus: an object or even outside (e.g., a tree) *We have no direct access to the distal stimulus *Proximal Stimulus : is the pattern of physical energies (e.g., the retinal image of the tree) that originates from the distal stimulus and impinges on a sense organ *Our information about the distal stimulus lies in the energies that actually reach us—the pattern of light that is reflected off the tree’s outer surface, collected by our eyes, and cast as an image on the retina *Retina: the light-sensitive tissue at the rear of each eyeball *If there was no proximal stimulus, the tree would be invisible to us *Problems—George Berkeley (120-121) *That a large object, far away from us, can cast the same-size image on our retina as a small object, much closer to us…retinal image size cannot tell us the size of the distal object *The Role of Association *Association : the process through which one sensory experience is linked to another. We have seen the visual cue of perspective and a moment later reached for or walked toward the objects we were viewing. This experience created an association in the mind between the visual cue and the appropriate movement and b/c this experience happened many times, the visual cue alone is now able to produce the memory of the movement and thus the experience of depth *Distance Cues : sources of information that signal the distance from he observer to the distance stimulus *Visual Perspective : a cue to distance that takes advantage of the fact that (because of the principle of optics) parallel lines appear to converge as they recede into the distance, and objects cast smaller images if they are further away from the viewer *The Active Perceiver *Immanuel Kant (122): argued that perception is possible only b/c the mind is able to organize the sensory information into certain preexisting categories *Each of us has an innate grasp of certain spatial relationships, so that we understand what it means for one thing to be next to or far from another thing, and so on *Innate grasp on temporal relationships- what it means for one event to occur before another or after
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*Before any perceptual experience can occur, these categories must be in place, so they obviously cannot be derived from perceptual experience *Nativism : the view that some important aspects of perception and of other cognitive processes are innate II .) Psychophysics: an approach to understanding perception that relates the characteristics of physical stimuli to attributes of the sensory experience they produce
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PsychFinally - Chapter 4 Sensation Perception I The Origins...

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