Intro to Psychology - Sensation Perception

Intro to Psychology - Sensation Perception - Sensation and...

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Unformatted text preview: Sensation and Perception Introduction to Psychology Sensation and Perception • Sensation - Process of receiving, converting, and transmitting info from the outside world; Detecting external physical energy via receptors and transforming into neural signals • Perception – Selection, organization and interpretation of sensory input; Mental explanation – Interpretation of sensory input is an active process – Perceptions can differ among people • *Perception begins where sensation ends… Sensation/Perception • Transduction : sensory receptors convert a physical energy into nerve impulses Thresholds • Absolute Threshold – when a stimulus is detectable 50% of the time; minimum stimulation to detect a particular stimulus. • Subliminal – stimuli that are below threshold; can only influence you in the short term and superficially. • Just Noticeable Difference – the minimum difference a person can tell between two things 50% of the time. • Sensory Adaptation – occurs when stimulus doesn’t change, so our sensitivity diminishes; enables us to pay attention to informative changes in the environment w/o being distracted by uninformative & unimportant information. – We perceive the world not as it is, but as it is useful for us to perceive it. • Thresholds can change within a person over time and as a function of hormone status – Olfactory sensitivity during pregnancy – Ability to taste foods as we get older Modification of Sensation • A key function of sensory systems is to detect change within the environment – Movement in the peripheral aspects of the eye may signal food or danger – Constant pressure of an object on the skin may not be important • A stimulus that moves across the skin may be a snake or a spider • The skin adapts to constant pressure – Constant pain is unpleasant and wastes body resources • Pain is offset by a control system involving opiates The Visual System What is Vision Anyway? • External light falls on receptors within the eye to generate the visual message • Light = electromagnetic radiation; Light does not have color – merely how we interpret wavelength information • Neurons fire in response to visible light (400-700 nanometers) • We convert electromagnetic waves (long & narrow) into neural activity, and pieces of electromagnetic energy are experienced as color. – We see only a thin slice of the spectrum. – We see narrower bands that extend from waves of red light to blue-violet light (bees, don’t see red, they see ultraviolet light). – Physical characteristics of light determine our sensory experience of it. • Wavelength : The distance from one wave peak to the next (determines color, red to blue-violet light)....
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course PSYCH 0514-210 taught by Professor Hirsch during the Spring '08 term at RIT.

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Intro to Psychology - Sensation Perception - Sensation and...

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