Study Stack for Chapter 4 - Sensation and Perception Flashcards

receptor cells
Terms Definitions
What is the difference between sensation and perception?
Sensation is when the brain receives the raw sensory info; perception is how the brain selects, organizes and interprets that info.
Process of receiving, converting and transmitting raw sensory information from the external and internal environments to the brain
process of selecting, organizing and interpreting sensory information
Where does perception take place and what does it involve?
It takes place in the brain and involves the sensations which are processed by the brain.
Where does sensation take place?
Raw data processed by sensory receptors.
Sensory mixing - seeing color when a sound is heard, for example
converting a stimulus to a receptor into neural impulses, which are then sent to the brain
Tiny receptor cells in the inner ear convert mechanical vibrations (from sound waves) into electrochemical signals. These signals are then carried by neurons to specific areas of the brain for further processing. This is an example of *what*?
Filtering and analyzing incoming sensations before sending a neural message to the cortex
sensory reduction
What sends messages via the thalamus to alert the cortex?
the reticular formation
The reticular formation sends messages via ___ to alert ___?
thalamus, cortex
Process that converts a particular sensory input into a specific sensation
Through a process known as __, sounds and smells are interpreted as distinct sensations
How does the brain differentiate between senations, such as sounds and smells?
coding - via this process, the brain interprets these stimuli as distinct sensations.
study of the relation between attributes of the physical world and our psychological experience of them
absolute threshold
smallest amount of a stimulus needed to detect that the stimulus is present
Your daughter listens to the sounds over earphones and told to indicate the earliest point at which she can hear a tone. She is listening for what?
absolute threshold
difference threshold is also known as what?
Just Noticeable Difference (JND)
Minimal difference needed to notice a stimulus change; also known as a Just Noticeable Difference
Difference Threshold
Noise-canceling headphones work via creating opposing soundwaves that cancel sounds from the environment. This is an example of what?
difference threshold
sensory adaptation
repeated or constant stimulation decreases the number of sensory messages sent to the brain, which causes decreased sensation
when receptors higher up in the sensory system get "tired" and fire less frequently, after a constant stimulus is presented over a length of time, causing sensation to often fade or disappear
sensory adaptation
To survive, we can't afford to waste attention and time on unchanging, normally unimportant stimuli. This is an example of...
sensory adaptation
gate-control theory of pain
theory that pain sensations are processed and altered by mechanisms within the spinal cord
difference between the crests or peaks of light or sound waves; the shorter the wavelength, the higher the frequency
how often a light or sound wave cycles (i.e., the number of complete wavelengths that pass a point in a given time)
Vision and hearing are both based upon ___ phenomena
the height, number and distance of waves
Amplitude, frequency and wavelength
Visible spectrum
that small part of the electromagnetic spectrum that's detectable by the human eye
What is the path of light through the structures of the eye?
Cornea - iris - pupil - lens - retina
Light first enters the eye through the ___
protective, transparent tissue that because of its convex curvature, helps focus incoming light rays
structure directly behind the cornea, which provides color of the eye
____ in the iris allow the ___ to dilate or constrict in response to light intensity, or emotions
muscles, pupil
Behind the iris is the __, which adds to the focusing begun by the cornea; but unlike the cornea, this structure is adjustable.
How does the lens adjust?
small muscles change its shape to allow us to focus on objects close to the eye or farther away
accommodation (in vision)
automatic adjustment of the eye, which occurs when muscles change the shape of the lens so that it focuses light on the retina from objects at different distances.
When you look at a faraway object, your lens accommodates by thinning and flattening to focus. hen your glance shifts to a near object, your lens thickens and curves. This process is called:
Light sensitive inner surface of the back of the eye, which contains the receptor cells for vision (rods and cones)
rods and cones are located where?
the retina contains what:
rods and cones
receptor cells in the retina that detect shades of gray and are responsible for peripheral vision and are most sensitive in dim light.
receptor cells concentrated near the center of the retina, responsible for color vision and fine detail; most sensitive in brightly lit conditions.
These are responsible for color vision and fine detail
tiny pit in the center of the retina, filled with cones; it is responsible for __
fovea; sharp vision
the fovea is responsible for what?
sharp vision
the fovea is filled with cones, assisting in its responsibility for__
sharp vision
the sense of hearing is called what?
three chambered, snail shaped structure in the inner ear containing the receptors for hearing
What determines the pitch of a sound?
The frequency of the sound wave
What determines the loudness of a sound?
the amplitude
The ear has ___ major sections
___ gathers and delivers sound waves to the middle ear
outer ear
amplifies and concentrates sounds gathered by the outer ear
middle ear
contains receptor cells that ultimately transduce the mechanical energy created by sounds into neural impulses
inner ear
external, visible part of the ear that we automatically envision when we think of an ear
the pinna channels sound waves into what?
the auditory canal
tubelike structure that focuses sound that is then delivered to the inner ear
auditory canal
thin, tautly stretched membrane also known as the eardrum
tympanic membrane
tympanic membrane
thin, tautly stretched membrane also known as the eardrum
three tiniest bones in the human body, and where they're located
malleus, incus and stapes - also known as the ossicles - in the inner ear
What is the path of sound waves through the ear?
Enters the outer ear -- are amplified and concentrated in the middle ear -- transduced in the inner near -- carried through the auditory nerve to the brain
snail shaped structure that contains the basilar membrane with receptors for hearing
hearing receptors are known as...
hair cells
what happens as waves travel through cochlear fluid?
hair cells bend from side to side
The mechanical energy of a sound wave is ___ into the electrochemical impulses that are carried by the auditory nerve to the brain
The two chemically based senses
olfaction and gustation
sense of smell results from stimulation of ___?
receptor cells in the nose
the receptor cells in the nose are embedded in what?
a mucus-coated membrane called the olfactory epithelium
actually modified neurons with branched dendrites extending out into the epithelium
olfactory receptors
most olfactory data is processed here before being sent to other parts of the brain
olfactory bulb
airborne chemicals that affect behavior, including recognition of family members, aggression, territorial marking, and sexual mating
five tastes
sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami
separate taste and type of taste receptor that is sensitive to glutamate (the taste of protein)
major taste buds are clustered on our tongues within little bumps called...
receptors for the sense of taste
taste buds
Why are children so picky about food?
Their taste buds are more abundant - taste buds die and are replaced every seven days
Why do humans and animals have a preference for sweet foods?
They are generally nonpoisonous and are good sources of energy
What are the three body senses
skin senses, vestibular sense and kinesthesia
three basic skin sensations
touch/pressure, temperature and pain
sense of body orientation and position with respect to gravity and three-dimensional space
sense of balance
vestibular sense
riding a bike, walking or sitting up would be impossible without this sense
vestibular sense
semicircular canals
provide brain with balance information, particularly information about rotation of the head
what causes motion sickness?
overload or confusion of the vestibular sense
sensory system for body posture and orientation
these receptors, unlike those for any other sense, are found throughout the body - the muscles, joints and tendons
kinesthetic receptors
Function of the skin senses
Detect pressure, temperature and pain; they protect the internal organs and provide basic survival information
the weightlessness experienced by space travelers from zero gravity has its greatest effect on the __
vestibular sense
false or misleading perceptions
chemical scents found in natural body odors
first step in perception
filtering out and attending only to important sensory messages
selective attention
specialized neurons that respond only to certain sensory information
feature detectors
tendency of the brain to ignore environmental factors that remain constant
how does habituation differ from adaptation?
habituation occurs in the brain; adaptation occurs when sensory receptors actually decrease the number of sensory messages they send to the brain.
four things by which we organize sensory data
form, constancy, depth and color
most fundamental Gestalt principle of organization
tendency to distinguish between figure and ground
Figure-Ground principle of organization
ground is always seen as farther away than figure
Proximity principle of organization
objects that are physically close together are goruped together
Continuity principle of organization
Objects that continue a pattern are grouped together
Closure principle of organization
Tendency to see a finished unit from an incomplete stimulus
One of the drawbacks of the Gestalt laws of perceptual organization is this...
It's culturally specific; it's valid only for people who have been schooled in geometrical concepts
perceptual constancy
tendency for the environment to be perceived as remaining the same even with changes in sensory input
perceptual set
readiness to perceive in a particular manner based on expectations
We largely see what we expect to see... this is because of:
the perceptual set
Bottom-up processing
Information processing that begins "at the bottom" with raw sensory data fed "up" to the brain
information processing that starts "at the top" with the observer's thoughts, expectations and knowledge, and works down
top-down processing
our perceptions of people, objects or situations are affected by _____ or context
frame of reference
Your visual receptors have begun to receive, translate and transmit the contours of the letters on this exam to your brain. You are therefore engaged in the process of ____
the process of selecting, organizing and interpreting sensory data into usable mental representations of the world is called __
three people standing next to each other were witnesses to a robbery. When asked for a description of the robber, each person gave a different answer. These different interpretations MOST LIKELY illustrate differences in __
body cells specialized to receive and process distinct sensory information
sensory receptors
when you listen to music, the sound waves are converted into neural impulses for your brain to process. This process is called __
Process of filtering and analyzing incoming sensations before sending a neural message to the cortex
sensory reduction
the reason you are seeing this test, rather than smelling it, tasting it, or hearing it, is because your visual receptors are being stimulated and the ifnromation is being sent along the optic nerve to the occipital lobe in the brain...
The lightest amount of a stimuli that can be perceived
absolute threshold
Rowena is placed in a room and told to press a button each time she hears a sound become louder. In this test, Rowena's __ is being measured
difference threshold for sound
When you first put your clothes on this morning you felt them on your skin, but within minutes you no longer noticed them.
sensory adaptation
pathway for light through the eye
cornea - pupil - lens - retina
pathway for sound through the ear
ear drum - malleus - incus - stapes - cochlea
hair cells are sensory receptors found in the:
cochlea, semicircular canals, vestibular sacs
The taste that animals are coded to avoid that improves chances or survival by avoiding toxicity
balance or ability to know your body orientation and position with respect to gravity and three dimensional space is provided by this sense
according to the most fundamental Gestalt principle of organization, our perceptions consist of __
figure and ground
as a flock of Canadian geese flies overhead in its familiar V formation, the geese are seen as __ and the sky as __
figure; ground
also known as negative space and positive space, respectively
ground, figure
perceptual principle of organization suggests that you are more likely to believe that a group of people who look alike will act alike
___ is the readiness to perceive in a particular manner, based on expectations
perceptual set
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