AP Psychology Sensation Perception Flashcards

Depth perception
Terms Definitions
physical energy
Chemical Senses
smell and taste
auditory experience corresponding to the frequency of sound vibrations, resulting in a higher or lower tone; humans respond to 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz
literally, "below threshold"; stimuli too weak to be consistently detected
individuals with normal color vision
located on retina, directly behind lens; is a depressed spot; Center a visual field; images are sharpest here; contains mostly cones
physical illusion
optical phenomenon; illusion produced by reflection of light into hot air; example-mirage
Sensory Adaptation
decreased responsiveness to stimuli due to constant stimulation eg. socks on feet
the process of organizing and interpreting sensory information, enabling us to recognize meaningful objects and events
A sheet of connective tissue seperating the outer ear from the inner ear that vibrates in response to auditory stimuli and transmits sound waves to the middle ear.
perceiving remote events, such as sensing that a friend's house is on fire
Top-down processing
information processing guided by higher-level mental process, as when we construct perceptions drawing out our experience and expectation.
the perceptual tendency to organize stimuli into coherent groups.
Perceptual Constancy
perceiving objects as unchanging (having consistent shape, size, lightness, and color) even as illumination and retinal images change.
Retinal receptor cells that are concentrated near the center of the retina and that function in daylight or in well-lit conditions. These detect fine detail and give rise to color sensations.
gestalt principle; the tendency to prefer to group like objects together
difference threshold
Just Noticeable Difference (JND); the smallest change in stimulation that you can detect 50% of the time; differs from one person to the other (and from moment to moment); tells us the flexibility of sensory systems
Sensory Habituation
our perception of sensations is partially due to how focused we are on them
the snail-shaped tube (in the inner ear coiled around the modiolus) where sound vibrations are converted into nerve impulses by the Organ of Corti
The process by which we recieve, transform, and process stimuli from the outside world to create sensory experiences of vision, touch, audition, taste, smell, and so on
Placebo Effect
An effect attributable to the influence of expectancies
monocular cue for depth perception; if one object partially blocks our view of another object, we perceive it as closer
extrasensory perception (ESP)
the controversial claim that perception can occur apart from sensory input; includes telepathy, clairvoyance, and precognition
Oval Window
Small Membrane that separates the middle ear from the inner ear
Absolute Threshold
The minimum stimulation needed to detect a particular stimulus 50 percent of the time
sensory experience that occurs after a visual experience has been removed; when eyes adjust to stimulation (or lack of) but they do not completely adjust/adapt
the magnitude of the way; combined with frequency, it determines loudness; measured in decibels
Opponent-Process Theory
the theory that opposing retinal processes (red-green, yellow-blue, white-black) enable color vision. For example, some cells are stimulated by green and inhibited by red; others are stimulated by red and inhibited by green.
Absolute Thresholds
the mimimum stimulation needed to detect a particular stimulus 50% of the time.
the signal was present and the participant reported sensing it
how rich or vivid a color is, deep/saturated
Weber's Law
states that the change needed is proportional to the original intensity of the stimulus
People with a form of color blindness in which can see only in black and white.
Skin Senses
The senses of touch, pressure, pain, heat, and cold
A German word for "form." The tendency to experience parts as an organized whole.
A form of partial color blindness in which people can see certain colors but not others
Sensory Adaptaion
The process by which sensory receptors adapt to constant stimuli by becoming less sensitive.
relative height
monocular cue for depth perception; we perceive objects higher in our visual field to be farther away. Explanation for why the "bottom" of a figure-ground illusion usually is interpreted as the "figure"
monocular cues
depth cues that only require input from one eye; often used in 2D art to create illusion of depth
Vestibular sense
Provides a sense of balance and equilibrium
small opening in the center of the iris; color part of the eye
Visual Cliff
a laboratory device for testing depth perception in infants and young animals.
the distance from the peak of one light or sound wave to the peak of the next. Electromagnetic wavelengths vary from the short blips of cosmic rays to the long pulses of radio transmissions.
Inner Ear
The innermost part of the ear, containing the cochlea, semicircular canals, and vestibular sacs.
aerial perspective
monocular depth cue; based on the observation that atmospheric moisture and dust tend to obscure objects in the distance more so than those nearby
Kinesthetic Sense
the sense that gives us feedback about the position and orientation of specific body parts
Right Hemisphere
impulses from the right side of the retina go here
as an object gets closer to our face, our eyes must move toward each other to keep focused on the object
Frequency Theory
A theory of pitch that suggests that the experience of pitch depends on the frequency of vibration of the basilar membrane and the voley of neural impulses transmitted to the brain via the auditory nerve, both of whichare synchronized to the frequency of the sound wave itself
Feature detectors
nerve cells in the brain that respond to specific features of the stimuli, such as shape, angle, or movement.
Blind spot
the point at which the optic nerve leaves the eye; no receptors cells are located there. Creates a gap in our vision that is "filled" by the brain.
the color part of the eye; made of muscle that contracts/relaxes to control the size of the people allowing light to enter the eye
olfactory epithelium
patch of tissue in nasal cavity that contains receptor cells
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 of conscious problem solving. (Myers Psychology 9e p. 242)
what allows us to focus on one small aspect of our perceptual world while constantly being assailed by massive input to all of our sensory systems
shape constancy
tendency to see an object as the same shape no matter the angle it is viewed from; example-closed door collusion
Ear Drum/Tympanic Membrane
a thin membrane that vibrates as the sound wave hits it
Signal detection theory
a theory predicting how and when we detect the presence of a faint stimuli ("signal") amid background stimulation ("noise"). Assume that there is no single absolute threshold and that focuses more on the processing of briefly stored information. (e.g. what determines a "hit", "miss," "false alarm" or "correct rejection")
Perceptual Adaptation
In vision, the ability to adjust to an artificially displaced or even inverted visual field.
Hammer, anvil, and stirrup
middle ear; free tiniest bones in the body; quivering of eardrum causes these bounds to hate in sequence and carry vibrations to the oval window
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