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PSYCHOLOGY

CHAPTER 5 - Sensation and Perception

QuestionAnswer
visual agnosia a condition in which an individual can see objects and identify their features but cannot recognize the objects
prosopagnosia a condition in which an individual can recognize details in feces but cannot recognize faces as a whole
sensation the process that detects stimuli from the body or surroundings
perception the process that organizes sensations into meaningful patterns
sensory receptors specialized cells that detect stimuli and convert their energy into neural impulses
sensory transduction the process by which sensory receptors convert stimuli into neural impulses
psychophysics the study of the relationship between the physical characteristics of stimuli and the conscious psychological experiences that are associated with them
absolute threshold the minimum amount of stimulation that an individual can detect through a given sense
signal-detection theory the theory holding that the detection of a stimulus depends on both the intensity of the stimulus and the physical and psychological state of the individual
subliminal perception the unconscious perception of stimuli that are too weak to exceed the absolute threshold for detection
difference threshold the minimum amount of change in stimulation that can be detected
just noticeable difference (jnd) weber and fechner's term for the difference threshold
weber's law the principle that the amount of change in stimulation needed to produce a just noticeable difference is a constant proportion of the original stimulus
sensory adaption the tendency of the sensory receptors to respond less and less to a constant stimulus
vision the sense that detects objects by the light reflected from them into the eyes
visible spectrum the portion of the electromagnetic spectrum that we commonly call light
sclera the tough, white, outer membrane of the eye
cornea the round, transparent area in the front of the sclera that allows light to enter the eye
iris the donut-shaped band of muscles behind the cornea that gives the eye its color and controls the size of the pupils
pupil the opening of the center of the iris that controls how much light enters the eye
lens the transparent structure behind the pupil that focuses light onto the retina
retina the light-sensitive inner membrane of the eye that contains the receptor cells for vision
accommodation the process by which the lens of the eye increases its curvature to focus light from close objects or decreases its curvature to focus light from more distant objects
myopia visual nearsightedness, which is caused by an elongated eyeball
hyperopia visual farsightedness, which is caused by a shortened eyeball
rods recptor cells of the retina that play an important role in night vision and peripheral vision
cones receptor cells of the retina that play an important role in daylight vision and color vision
optic nerve the nerve, formed from the axons of ganglion cells, that carries visual impulses from the retina to the brain
fovea a small area at the center of the retina that contains only cones and provides the most acute vision
smooth pursuit movements eye movements controlled by the ocular muscles that keep objects focused on the fovea
optic chaism the point under the frontal lobes at whiche some axons from each of the optic nerves cross over to the opposite side of the brain
visual cortex the area of the occipital lobes that processes visual input
photopigments chemicals, including rhodopsin and iodopsin, that enable the rods and cones to generate neural impulses
dark adaptation the process by which the eye become more sensitive to light when under low illumination
trichromatic theory the theory that color vision depends on the relative degree of stimulation of red, green and blue receptors
opponent-process theory the theory that color vision depends on red-green, blue-yellow, and black-white opponent processes in the brain
afterimage an image that persists after the removal of a visual stimulus
color blindness the inability to distinguish between certain colors, most often red and green
figure-ground perception the distinguishing of an object (the figure) from its surroundings (the ground)
feature-detector theory the theory that we construct perceptions of stimuli from activity in neurons of the brain that are sensitive to specific features of those stimuli
illusory contours the perception of nonexistent contours as if they were the edges of real objects
depth perception the perception of the relative distance of objects
binocular cues depth perception cues that require input from the two eyes
monocular cues depth perception cues that require input from only one eye
size constancy the perceptual process that makes an object appear to remain the same size despite changes in the size of the image it casts on the retina
shape consistancy the perceptual process that makes an object appear to maintain its normal shape regardless of the angle from which it is viewed
brightness constancy the perceptual process that makes an object maintain a particular level of brightness despite changes in the amount of light reflected from it
visual illusion a misperception of physical reality usually caused by the misapplication of visual cues
moon illusion the misperception that the moon is larger when it is at the horizon than when it is overhead
audition the sense of hearing
tympanic membrane the eardrum; a membrane separating the outer ear from the middle ear that vibrates in response to sound waves that strike it
cochlea the spiral, fluid-filled structure of the inner ear that contains the receptor cells for hearing
basilar membrane a membrane running the length of the cochlea that contains the auditory receptor (hair) cells
auditory nerve the nerve that conducts impulses from the coclea to the brain
auditory cortex the area of the temporal lobes that processes sounds
pitch perception the subjective experience of the highness or lowness of a sound, which corresponds most closely to the frequency of the sound waves that compose it
place theory the theory of pitch perception that assumes that hair cells at particular points on the basilar membrane are maximally responsive to sound waves of particular frequencies
frequency theory the theory of pitch perception that assumes that the basilar membrane vibrates as a whole in direct proportion to the frequency of the sound waves striking the eardrum
volley theory the theory of pitch perception that assumes that sound waves of particular frequencies induce auditory neurons to fire in volleys, with one volley following another
loudness perception the subjective experience of the intensity of a sound, which corresponds most closely to the amplitued of the sound waves composing it
conduction deafness hearing loss usually caused by blockage of the auditory canal, damange to the eardrum, or deterioration of the ossicles of the middle ear
nerve deafness hearing loss caused by damage to the hair cells of the basilar membrane, the axons of the auditory nerve, or the neurons of the auditory cortex
timbre the subjective experience that identifies a particular sound and corresponds most closely to the mixture of sound waves composing it
sound localization the process by which the individual determines the location of a sound
olfaction the sense of smell, which detects molecules carried in the air
pheromone an odorous chemical secreted by an animal that affects the behavior of other animals
gustation the sense of taste, which detects molecules of substances dissolved in the saliva
taste buds structures lining the grooves of the tongue that contain the taste receptor cells
skin senses the senses of touch, temperature, and pain
somatosensory cortex the area of the parietal lobes that processes information from sensory receptors in the skin
gate-control theory the theory that pain impulses can be blocked by the closing of a neuronal gate in the spinal cord
placebo an inactive substance that might induce some of the effects of the drug for which it has been substituted
acupuncture a pain-relieving technique that relies on the insertion of fine needles into various sites on the body
transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) the use of electrical stimulation of sites on the body to provide pain relief, apparently by stimulating the release of endorphins
kinesthetic sense the sense that provides information about the position of the joints, the degreeof tension in the muscles, and the movement of the arms and legs
vestibular sense the sense that provides information about the head's position in space and helps in the maintenance of balance
otolith organs the vestibular organs that detect horizontal or vertical linear movement of the head
semicirucular canals the curved vestibular organs of the inner ear that detect rotary movements of the head in any direction
extrasensory perception (ESP) the alleged ability to perceive events without the use of sensory receptors
parapsychology the study of extrasensory perception, psychokinesis, and related phenomena
mental telepathy the alleged ability to percieve the thoughts of others
clairvoyance the alleged ability to perceive objects or events without any sensory contact with them
precognition the alleged ability to perceive events in the future
deja vu a feeling that you have experienced a present situation in the past and that you can anticipate what will happen next
psychokinesis (PK) the alleged abiltiy to control objects with the mind alone
Created by: Jessica C