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5. Sensation and Perception

5. Sensation and Perception - Sensation and Perception •...

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Unformatted text preview: Sensation and Perception • Sensation: stimulus detection process where our sense organs respond to and translate stimuli into nerve impulses sent to the brain • Perception: active process of organizing stimulus input and giving it meaning • Stimulus Detection: How intense does a stimulus need to be for us to recognize its presence? • Absolute Threshold: the lowest intensity at which a stimulus can be detected at least 50% of the time Absolute Threshold Sense Modality Absolute Threshold Vision candle flame at 30 miles on a clear night Hearing watch ticking at 20 feet in a quiet room Taste 1 tsp sugar in 2 gals of water Smell 1 drop of perfume in 6(3) room apt Touch wing of bee on cheek drop from 1cm • Signal Detection Theory: various factors influence our sensory judgment; often involves a process of decisions in addition to sensation • Difference Threshold: the smallest difference between two stimuli that people can perceive 50% of the time • Weber’s Law: the difference threshold is directly proportional to the magnitude of the stimulus to which the comparison is being made. – eg. value for weight is 1/50; backpack example • Fechner’s Law: larger and larger increases in physical energy are required to produce equal increases in perception – eg. light bulb example; 0 → 25W → 50W • Just noticeable difference: the smallest difference in which you can detect a difference threshold • Sensory adaptation (habituation): over time neurons decrease activity in response to a constant stimulus – Boring lectures Sensory Systems: Vision • The normal stimulus for vision is electromagnetic energy or light waves • Light waves are measured in nanometers • Our visual system is sensitive to wavelengths extending from ~700 nanometers (red) to ~ 400 nanometers (blue-violet) • ROY G BIV: (higher to lower wave lengths) The Human Eye • Cornea: where light waves enter • Pupil: lies behind the cornea and adjusts to control the amount of lie that enters the eye • Iris: controls pupil's size; colored part •...
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