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Ch 3 Psychology

Ch 3 Psychology Terms and Definitions

Sensation The activation of receptors in the various sense organs
Sensory Receptors Specialized neurons designed to convey information regarding external stimuli to the nervous system
Ernst Weber 1795-1978 Pioneer in the study of sensory thresholds, Discovered the just noticeable difference and Weber's law
Gustav Fechner 1801-1887 Pioneer in the field of sensation and perception
Just Noticeable Difference (jnd) The smallest difference between two stimuli that is detectable 50 percent of the time
Weber's Law States that the size of the just noticeable difference is a constant proportion
Absolute Threshold The smallest amount of energy needed for a person to consciously detect a stimulus 50 percent of the time it is present
Habituation Tendency of sensory receptor cells to become less responsive to a stimulus that is unchanging
Sensory Adaption Tendency of sensory receptor cells to become less responsive to a stimulus that is unchanging
Brightness Corresponds to the amplitude (or height) of a light wave
Color or Hue Determined by the frequency (or length) of a light wave
Saturation Relates to the degree of mixture of light waves of varying frequency
Retina Nerve tissue lining the inside of the back of the eye that contains sensory receptors that convert focused light into nerve impulses and transmits the information to the brain through the optic nerves.
Rods Visual sensory receptor found at the back of the retina, responsible for non-color sensitivity to low levels of light
Cones Visual sensory receptor found at the back of the retina, responsible for color vision and sharpness of vision
Trichromatic Theory Theory of color vision that proposes three types of cones: red, blue and green
Afterimage Images that occur when a visual sensation persists for a brief time even after the original stimulus is removed
Opponent-Process Theory Theory of color vision that proposes four primary colors with cones arranged in pairs: red and green, blue and yellow
Optic Nerve Bundle of axons carrying visual information from the retina to the brain
Color Blindness Reduced ability to distinguish colors due to damage to the cones of the retina
Audition (auditory system) The sensation of hearing
Volume Sensation of the loudness of sound determined by the amplitude (or height) of a sound wave
Pitch Psychological experience of sound that corresponds to the frequency (or length) of the sound waves; higher frequencies are perceived as higher pitches
Timbre The quality of a sound that distinguishes it from other sounds with the same pitch and volume. Also referred to as sound quality.
Hertz (Hz) Cycles or waves per second, a measurement of frequency
Pinna The outer ear that focuses sound waves for the middle and inner ears
Cochlea Snail-like structure of the inner ear, filled with fluid
Basilar Membrane The cellular membrane in which the hari cells are embedded, it is a part of the organ of Corti
Organ of Corti The structure in the inner ear that contains the hair cell sensory receptors
Hair Cells Sensory receptors of the auditory system, Specifically, specialized neurons that convert sound into an electrical-chemical signal
Place Theory Theory of pitch that states that different pitches are experienced by the stimulation of hair cells in different locations on the organ of Corti
Frequency Theory States that the perceived pitch is caused by the frequency of the incoming sound wave and subsequently the frequency of firing in the auditory nerve
Volley Principle Theory of pitch that states that frequencies are above 100 Hz cause the hair cells (auditory neurons) to fire in a volley pattern or taking turns in firing
Conduction Hearing Impairment Deficit in hearing cause by damage to the eardrum or bones of the middle ear, typically corrected by ordinary hearing aid
Nerve Hearing Impairment Deficit in hearing caused by damage to the inner ear, auditory nerve, or cortical areas of the brain, can sometimes be partially reversed with cochlear implants
Cochlear implants Medical device surgically implanted to bypass damage in the inner ear and directly stimulate auditory nerve endings
Gustation (Gustatory system) The sensation of taste
Taste Buds Small structures located under the papillae in the mouth that contain the sensory receptors for the gustatory system
Papillae Small projections on the tongue
Umami Name for the tast sensation produced by foods such as parmesan, soy sauce, fish sauce, and the additive monosodium glutamate or MSG
Olfaction (Olfactory system) The sensation of smell
Somesthetic Senses The body senses consisting of the skin senses, the kinesthetic sense and vestibular senses
Skin Senses The sensations of touch, pressure, temp and pain
Kinesthetic Senses Sense of the location of body parts in relation to the ground and each other
Vestibular Senses The sensations of movement, balance, and body positions
Gate-control Theory Theory of pain that states the psychological experience of pain is controlled by a series of "gates" in the central and peripheral nervous system that can allow or block the flow of the pain information depending on a number of factors
Substance P A newly discovered neurotransmitter that plays a role in transmitting information about pain
Proprioceptive Receptors (proprioceptors) Sensory receptors that detect pain and pressure in the organs
Otolith Organs Structures in the inner ear that send information to the brain about acceleration and tilt
Semicircular Canals Three circular tubes filled with fluid and lined with hair-like receptors that fire when the body moves in any circular pattern
Perception The method by which the sensations experienced at any given moment are interpreted and organized in some meaningful fashion
Size Constancy The tendency to interpret the shape of an object as being constant, even when its shape changes on the retina
Brightness Constancy The tendency to perceive the apparent brightness of an object as the same even when the light conditions change
Figure-ground Relationships The tendency to perceive objects, or figures, as existing on a background
Closure The tendency to complete figures that are incomplete
Similarity The tendency to perceive things that look similar to each other as being part of the same group
Contiguity The tendency to perceive two things that happen close together in time as being related
Continuity The tendency to perceive things as simply as possible, with a continuous pattern rather than with a complex, broken-up pattern
Proximity The tendency to perceive objects that are close to each other as part of the same grouping
Depth Perception The ability to perceive the world in three dimensions
Monocular Cues Cues for perceiving depth based on one eye only
Linear Perspective The tendency for parallel lines to appear to converge on each other
Relative Size Perception that occurs when objects that a person expects to be of a certain size appear to be small and are therefore assumed to be much, much farther away
Interposition (overlap) The assumption that an object that appears to be blocking part of another object is in front of the second object and closer to the viewer
Aerial Perspective The haziness that surrounds objects that are farther away from the viewer, causing the distance to be perceived as greater
Texture Gradient The tendency for textured surfaces to appear to become smaller and finer as distance from the viewer increases
Motion Parallax The perception of motion of objects in which close objects appear to move more quickly than objects that are farther away
Accommodation As a monocular clue, the brain's use of information about the changing thickness of the lens of the eye in response to looking at objects that are close or far away
Binocular Cues Cues for perceiving depth based on both eyes
Convergence The rotation of the two eyes in their sockets to focus on a single object, resulting in greater convergence for closer objects and less convergence if objects are distant
Binocular Disparity The difference in images between the two eyes, which is greater for objects that are close and smaller for distant objects
Illusion A perception that does not correspond to reality
Muller-Lyer Illusion Illusion of line length that is distorted by inward-turning or outward-turning corners on the ends of the lines, causing lines of equal length to appear to be different
Perceptual Sets The tendency to perceive things a certain way because previous experiences or expectations influence those perceptions
Top-Down Processing The use of pre-existing knowledge to organize individual features into a unified whole
Bottom-Up Processing The analysis of the smaller features to build up to a complete perception
Created by: ANursingStudent