Chapter 5- Sensation and Perception October 23rd

Chapter 5- Sensation and Perception October 23rd - Chapter...

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Chapter 5 - Sensation and Perception We experience light waves as brightness and colours, air vibrations as sounds, chemical substances as odours or tastes, etc. Synaesthesia is a condition with mixing of the senses Individuals may experience sound as colours or tastes as touch sensations that have different shapes Women are more likely to have synaesthesia than men Sensory impaired people provide glimpses into different aspects of how we “sense” and “understand” our world There is a cross-wiring where activity in one part of the brain evokes responses in another part of the brain dedicated to another sensory modality Can be explained by a lack of pruning, where neural connections that usually are absent in regular people remain – proven by higher connectivity in patients with synaesthesia Another theory is that there is a deficit in neural inhibitory processes in the brain that keep input from one sensory modality from overflowing into other sensory areas and stimulating them Transduction is when your sensory receptors translate the stimulus (light, sound waves, etc.) into nerve impulses Feature detectors are specialized neurons that break down and analyze the specific features of the stimuli Stimulus features are reconstructed into neural representation Neural representation is then compared with previously stored information in the brain The matching process results in recognition and interpretation of the stimuli The Binding Problem : how do we bind all our perceptions into one complete whole while keeping its sensory elements separate? Sensation is the stimulus – detection process by which our sense organs respond to and translate environmental stimuli into nerve impulses that are sent to the brain Perception – making sense of what our senses tell us – is the active process of organizing this stimulus input and giving it meaning Perception is influences by context and by learned expectations – step beyond sensation Sensory Processes Transduction is the process whereby the characteristics of a stimulus are converted into nerve impulses Five classical senses include 1. Vision 2. Audition (hearing) 3. Touch 4. Gustation (tasting) 5. Olfaction (smell) There are senses that provide information about and balance and body position The sense of touch can be subdivided into separate senses of pressure, pain and temperature Human sensory systems are designed to extract from the environment the information that we need to function and survive Psychophysics studies the relations between the physical characteristics of stimuli and sensory capabilities Concerned with absolute limits of sensitivity and the differences between stimuli Stimulation Detection: The Absolute Threshold Absolute Threshold is the lowest intensity at which a stimulus can be detected correctly 50% of the time The lower the absolute threshold, the greater the sensitivity See Table 5.1 on page 146 for examples
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  • Spring '09
  • Sensory Systems, nerve impulses, fovea

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