PSYC 129 Midterm 2 Study Guide.docx

Neither mathematics nor logic give new facts about

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Neither mathematics nor logic give new facts about the world, in the sense that facts are discovered by observation Knowledge starts from experience, though mathematics and logic are extremely important for testing and drawing conclusions from mental models which might fit reality Genetic coding can become modified by natural selection to give inherited knowledge to individuals, but what the parents learn individually in their lifetime is lost It is hard to establish what knowledge human infants are born with and what has to be learned Physiological Changes Feature detectors are not completely laid down at birth; but are developed - or tuned - by visual stimulation encountered by the individual Some innately given neural mechanisms degenerate with lack of stimulation E.g. the ability to see depth stereoscopically In childhood there are ‘critical periods’ for learning how to see, and without suitable experience at the right time such visual skills can be lost forever Early visual environment of babies is highly important for adult vision Adaptation to disturbed images Displaced images Animals show far less adaptation to a shift or reversal of an image than do human observers Only monkeys and humans show any perceptual adaptation to these changes
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Psychologist G.M. Stratton wore inverting goggles for days on end (the first man to have retinal images that were not upside down) Learning consisted of a series of specific adaptations, overlying the original perception, rather than a reorganization of the entire perceptual system Touch has important effects on vision Tendency to switch the world right side up For compensation to displaced to occur, it is important for the subject to make active corrective movements; active movement is vital for perceptual learning in the first place, as well as for compensation Held and Hein kitten experiment -> only the active kitten face evidence of perception, the passive animal remaining for a time effectively blind Distorted images Distortion gradually becomes less marked over time Figural after-effects -> a visual ‘normalizing’ process, useful for correcting standing errors such as astigmatism Using television to study visual disturbance Up-down reversal generally proves more disturbing than left-right reversal, and combined up-down and left-right is less disturbing than either alone Displacement in time Short delay made movements jerky and ill coordinated, so that drawing became almost impossible and writing quite difficult -> practice gives little or no improvement Links of adaptation McCollough effect When lines of one orientation are repeatedly shown as red, and alternated with a green grating at another orientation, black and white lines of the same orientations appear colored Referred to as contingent after effects, a kind of perceptual learning Illustrates how vision scales and adapts itself, generally avoiding its own
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