AP Psychology Sensation 3 Flashcards

Terms Definitions
Acuity
The sharpness of vision.
The sharpness of vision.
Acuity
adaptation
The process through which responsiveness to an unchanging stimulus decreases over time.
The activation, often unconsciously, of certain associations, thus pre-disposing one's perception, memory, or response.
Priming
Frequency
The number of complete wavelengths that pass a point in a given time
cones
retinal receptor cells that are concentrated near the center of the retina and that function in daylight or in well-lit conditions. The cones detect fine detail and give rise to color sensations. (Myers Psychology 8e p. 206)
lens
the transparent structure behind the pupil that changes shape to help focus images on the retina. (Myers Psychology 8e p. 205)
sense
A system that translates information from outside the nervous system into neural activity.
Ear
converts sound energy into neural activity through a series of accessory structures and transduction mechanisms.
perception
the process of organizing and interpreting sensory information, enabling us to recognize meaningful objects and events
Information processing guided by higher-level mental processes, as when we construct perceptions drawing on our experience and expectations.
Top-down processing
Retinal receptor cells that are concentrated near the center of the retina and that function in daylight or well-lit conditions. The cones detect fine detail and give rise to color sensations.
Cones
intensity
The density of vibrating air molecules, which determines the loudness of sound.
nocioceptors
Receptors for stimuli that are experienced as painful.
Nearsightedness
A condition in which nearby objects are seen more clearly than distant objects because distant objects focus in front of the retina.
difference threshold
the minimum difference between two stimuli required for detection 50 percent of the time. We experience the difference threshold as a just noticeable difference. (Also called just noticeable difference or jnd.) (Myers Psychology 8e p. 201)
pupil
the adjustable opening in the center of the eye through which light enters. (Myers Psychology 8e p. 205)
accessory structures
Structures that modify a stimulus (like the lens of an eye focuses on incoming light)
weber's law
principle that the just noticeable diffference of a stimulus is a constant proportion despite variations
Quantitative Coding
Amount or intensity of energy present• Ie: dull or bright light
The process by which our sensory receptors and nervous system receive and represent stimulus energies from our environment.
Sensation
A condition in which far-away objects are seen more clearly than near objects because the image of near objects is focused behind the retina.
Farsightedness
wavelength
The frequency of light waves, which determines the color we see.
cornea
The protective coating on the surface of the eye through which light passes.
stereochemical theory
The theory that different odor receptors can be stimulated only by molecules of a specific size and shape that fit them like a "key" in a lock.
color constancy
perceiving familiar objects as having consistent color, even if changing illumination alters the wavelengths reflected by the object.
Sensory Interaction
The principle that one sense may influence another, as when the smell of food influences its taste.
Opponent process theory
The theory that opposing retianl processes enable color vision. For example, some cells are stimulated by green and inhibited by red; others are stimulated by red and inhibited by green.
analgesia
The absence of pain sensations in the presence of a normally painful stimulus
brightness
the overall intensity of all of the wavelengths that make up light.
light wavelength
the distance between peaks in light waves; it determines what colors you see
top - down processing
information processing guided by higher-level mental processes, as when we construct perceptions drawing on our experience and expectations
accommodation
the process by which the eye's lens changes shape to focus near or far objects on the retina
Sensory Transduction
o Transformation of one form of energy to anothero Sensory events are transduced or transferred into changes in the cell’s membrane potential
The chamber between the eardrum and cochlea containing three tiny bones (hammer, anvil, and stirrup) that concentrate the vibrations of the eardrum on the cochlea's oval window.
Middle Ear
absolute threshold
The smallest magnitude of a stimulus that can be detected half the time.
external auditory canal
external passage for sounds collected from the pinna to the tympanum
fovea
The central spot of the retina, which contains the greatest concentration of cones.
Parallel Processing
The processing of several aspects of a problem simultaneously; the brain's natural mode of information processing for many functions, including vision. Contrasts with the step by step (serial) processing of most computers and conscious problem solving.
Bottom Up Processing
Analysis that begins with the sense receptors and works up to the brain's integration of sensory information.
iris
a ring of muscle tissue that forms the colored portion of the eye around the pupil and controls the size of the pupil opening. (Myers Psychology 8e p. 205)
gate control theory
A theory suggesting that a functional "gate" in the spinal cord can either let pain impulses travel upward to the brain or block their progress.
feature detectors
nerve cells in the brain that respond to specific features of the stimulus, such as shape, angle, or movement
frequency theory
in hearing, the theory that the rate of nerve impulses traveling up the auditory nerve matches the frequency of a tone, thus enabling us to sense its pitch
In hearing, the theory that the rate of nerve impulses traveling up the auditory nerve matches the frequency of a tone, thus enabling us to sense its pitch.
Frequency Theory
basilar membrane
One of the membranes that separate the two tubes of the cochlea and on which the organ of Corti rests.
binocular cues
Two visual cues that require both eyes to allow us to perceive depth.
signal detection theory
"a theory predicting how and when we detect the presence of a faint stimulus (""signal"") amid background stimulation (""noise""). Assumes there is no single absolute threshold and detection depends partly on a person's experience" expectations motivation and level of fatigue. (Myers Psychology 8e p. 199)
sensorineural hearing loss
hearing loss caused by damage to the cochlea's receptor cells or to the auditory nerves; also called nerve deafness.
Physiology of the ear
o Sound waves are collected by outer ear, or pinnao Waves travel down auditory canalo Ear drum vibrates as sounds hit ito Ossicles, a series of small bones: hammer, anvil, stirrup• Transmits eardrum vibration to the oval windowo Cochlea, a structure filled with fluid • Floor of it is the basilar membrane• Lined with hair cells which move when the fluid moves• Transduction occurs
Doctrine of specific nerve energies
the discovery that stimulation of a particular sensory nerve provides codes for that sense, no matter how the stimulation takes place.
Young- Helmholtz Theory (Trichromatic color processing)
three types of cone cells in the retina: blue, green, and red
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