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Lecture; Sensation and Lecture


Definition of sensation and perception Sensation: is the stimulation of sensory receptors and the transmission of sensory information to the central nervous system. Perception: is an active process in which sensations are organized and interpreted to form an inner representation of the world. Five Senses: Vision. Hearing. Smell. Taste. Touch. Gustav Theodore Fechner (1801-1887) founded a discipline known as psychophysics- focuses on the way in which we translate physical events such as light and sounds into psychological experiences. Concepts that apply to sensation include: absolute threshold, difference threshold, signal detection theory, and sensory adaptation. 1) Absolute threshold- refers to the weakest amount of a stimulus that a person can distinguish from no stimulus at all 50% of the time. Absolute thresholds are not really absolute: some people are more sensitive than others and even the same person may have a slightly different response from one occasion to the other: Nevertheless under ideal conditions. Examples: a. Vision: a candle flame viewed from about 30 miles on a clear, dark night. b. Hearing: a watch ticking from about 20 feet away in a quiet room. c. Taste: 1 teaspoon of sugar dissolved in 2 gallons of water. d. Smell: about one drop of perfume diffused throughout a small house (1 part per 500 million). e. Touch: the pressure of the wing of a fly falling on a cheek from a distance of a .4 inch. Our view of world would be quite different if our absolute thresholds differed from this: e.g. if we heard lower pitch we could hear the sound of air molecules hitting

our eardrums, if we saw longer wavelengths could see infared light- warm blooded creatures would glow in the dark. 2) Difference Threshold- the minimum difference in magnitude of two stimuli required to tell them apart 50% of the time. Similar to the just noticeable difference (jnd)- the minimum difference in stimuli that a person can detect. Psychophysicist Ernst Weber (1795-1878) discovered through laboratory research that: Light: the threshold for perceiving differences in the intensity of light 2% or 1/60th (1/60th brighter or dimmer) of their intensity- this is known as Webers constant. Weight: the fractional difference is 1/53rd. (e.g if you are strong enough to lift 100 lb barbell you would not notice the difference in weight until 2 more pounds were added. Sound: Most people are sensitive to changes in pitch (frequency) of sound. The constant for pitch is 1/333rd or people can tell when a tone rises or falls by 1/3rd of 1%. (E.g. Friend can tell when youre off in singing sharp or flat.) Taste: Much less sensitive. People cant detect differences in saltiness of less than 20%. 3 Signal Detection Theory- considers the human aspects of sensation, and perception. It assumes that the relationship between a physical stimulus and a sensory response is not just mechanical. Other factors that determine whether people will perceive sensory stimuli include: a. Training (learning). b. Motivation: desire to perceive c. Psychological states: such as fatigue or alertness. e.g. Where you are studying includes lots of signals: birds chirping outside, a breeze blows against your face, the smell of KFC in the air. Yet you focus your attention on the book. The other signals recede to the background of your consciousness. One psychological factor in signal detection theory is the focusing or narrowing of attention to the signals that the person decides are important. 4. Feature Detectors in the Brain- Brain cells that respond to different aspects of features of a scene (e.g. angles, vertical, horizontal and inbetween). Other cells fire in response to specific colours. David Hubel and Torsten Weisel (1979) discovered that various neurons in the visual cortex of the brain fire in response to particular features of the visual input. There are also feature detectors for other senses: e.g. auditory detectors respond to pitch, loudness etc.

5. Sensory Adaptation: Where did it go? Our sensory systems are suited to a changing environment. We become more sensitive to stimuli of low magnitude and less sensitive to stimuli that remain the same. (i.e. background noise outside the window). Sensory adaptation refers to the sensory process of adjustment. Becoming more sensitive to stimulation is referred to as sensitization or positive adaptation (e.g. when the power goes out on a moon bright night at first cant pick out details of the room, but then become more sensitive to the objects present). Becoming less sensitive to constant stimulation- desensitization or negative adaptation (e.g. at the beach become less sensitive to sound of waves, or on the street less sensitive to traffic sounds). 6. Vision More than half of our brains cerebral cortex is devoted to visual functions. To understand vision we must first understand the nature of light. 7. Light It is visible light that triggers sensations, but visible light is just one small part of the spectrum of electromagnetic energy that surrounds us: All forms of electromagnetic energy move in waves, a. Visible light at about 400 billionths of a meter in length (violet) to 700 billionth of a meter (red). b. Some radio waves extend for miles. c. Cosmic rays: wavelengths are only a few trillionths of an inch long. Sir Isaac Newton discovered the prism that could break up light into different colours. How to remember the colours of the spectrum from longest to shortest wavelength: Roy G. Biv Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. The wavelength of light determines its colour or hue. 8. The Eye: How it works. Light first passes through the transparent cornea which covers the front of the eyes surface. The white of the eye- sclera- is composed of hard protective tissue. Iris- muscle that controls the amount of light that is allowed to enter.- the coloured part of the eye. Pupil- the opening in the iris- the size of the pupil adjusts automatically to the amount of light present. More intense the light the smaller the opening. Also sensitive to emotional response- can be wide-eyed with fear.

Lens- once light passes through iris it encounters the lens. Lens adjusts or accommodates to the image by changing its thickness. Changing the thickness allows a clear image to be projected onto the retina. Retina- is like the film image surface of the camera. It consists of cells called photoreceptors that are sensitive to light (photosensitive). There are two types of photoreceptors: rods and cones. a) Structure of the retina: The retina combines several layers of cells: the rods and cones, bipolar cells, and ganglion cells. All of these cells are neurons. The rods and cones respond to light with chemical changes that create neural impulses that are picked up by the bipolar cells. Bipolar cells then activate the ganglion cells The axons of the million or so ganglion cells converge to form the optic nerve Optic nerve- conducts sensory input to the brain where it is relayed to the visual area of the occipital lobe. 9. Rods and Cones About 125 million rods and 6.4 million cones distributed across the retina. Cones are most densely packed in a small spot in the center of the retina known as the fovea. Visual acuity- sharpness and detail is greatest at this spot. Rods are most dense just outside the fovea toward the periphery of the retina. Rods allow us to see black and white. They are more sensitive to dim light than cones (e.g. in dim light objects appear to lose their colour before their outline fades from view) Cones provide colour vision. Blind Spot: In contrast to visual acuity of the fovea is the blind spot, which is insensitive to visual stimulation. It is the part of the retina where the axons of the ganglion cells converge to form the optic nerve. Visual acuity- connected with the shape of the eye. a) Nearsighted: People who have to be unusually close to a distant object to discriminate its details. Results when the eyeball is elongated so that the images of distant objects are focused in front of the retina. Eyeglasses or contact lenses are used to focus the distant objects on the retina. b) Farsighted: People who see distant objects clearly but have difficulty in focusing on nearby objects. Cause when the eyeball is too short, the images of nearby objects are focused behind the retina. Usually doesnt require correction until late 30s to mid 40s. c) Presbyopia- Greek Old man, eyes Beginning in late 30s to mid 40s the lenses start to grow brittle, making it more difficult to accommodate to, or focus on objects. Makes it difficult to perceive nearby visual stimuli. Need corrective lenses.

10 Light Adaptation Dark adaptation: The process of adjusting to lower lighting conditions. The rods and cones adapt at different rates. Cones which are sensitive to colour reach their maximum adaptation in 10 minutes. Rods which perceive light and dark only continue to adapt to darkness for up to 45 minutes. Adaptation to brighter light takes place much more rapidly. (e.g. walking from a movie theatre outside) (Within a minute or so brilliance in which edges of objects dissolve into light dims and objects regain their edges). 11 Colour Vision Perceptual dimensions of colour: Hue, value and saturation. Hue- determined by the wavelength of the light Value- the degree of lightness or darkness Saturation- how intense a colour appears. Psychological association- colours have associations within various cultural settings. U.S. white is sign of purity usedby bride in weddings, India white is the colour for funerals. 12 Warm and Cool Colours If we bend the colours of the spectrum into a circle we create a colour wheel. Psychologically : a) colours on the green-blue side of the colour wheel are considered to be cool in temperature. (i.e. associate with colour of the ocean or sky) b) Colours on the yellow-red sid are considered to be warm (i.e. associate with fire). 13 Complementary Colours a) the colours across from one another on the colour wheel are considered to be complementary. - Red-Green - Blue-Yellow b) if the complementary colours are mixed they dissolve into grey. c) We are talking about light not pigment. d) Light is the source of all colour. Pigments reflect and absorb different wavelengths selectively. (e.g. see plants as green because the pigment in chlorophyll absorbs the red, blue and violet wavelengths and reflects green wavelength.) Red pigment reflects red, absorbs the rest, white reflects all colours equally, black reflects very little light). e) Mixture of lights is an additive process. Mixture of pigments is subtractive.

14 Afterimages a) Persistent sensations of colour are followed by perception of the complementary colour when the first colour is removed. The phenomenon of afterimages has contributed to one of the theories of colour vision. 15 Theories of color vision Our ability to perceive color depends on the eyes transmission of different messages to the brain when lights with different wavelengths stimulate the cones in the retina. What happens in the eye and in the brain when light with different wavelengths stimulate the retina? a) Trichromatic Theory Based on Thomas Young who conducted experiments on colour visionprojected three lights of different colour onto a screen so that they partly overlapped. He found that he could create any colour from the visible spectrum by simply varying the intensities of the three lights: red, green and blue-violet. All three in same spot made white light or the appearance of no colour. Base on these experiments by Young, German physiologist Hermann von Helmholtz suggested that the retina in the eye must have three different types of colour receptors or cones. The trichromatic theory is also known as the Young-Helmholtz theory. b) Opponent Process Theory Ewald Hering another German physiologist, proposed that there are three types of colour receptors but they dont respond just to red, green and blueviolet. They are pairs including: red-green, blue-yellow, and a type that perceives differences in brightness. These pairs of receptors are what make afterimages possible. (e.g. since a red-green cone could not transmit images for red and green at the same time, if you stare at a green, black and yellow flag for 30 seconds, that woud disturb the balance of neural activity. The afterimage of red, white and blue represents the eyes attempt to reestablish balance. c) Research suggests that each theory of colour vision is partially correct. The cones may be as Helmholtz claimed and the transmission to the brain as Hering proposes. 16 Colour Blindness If you can discriminate among the colours of the visible spectrum, you have normal colour vision and are labeled a trichromat.

People who are totally colour blind are sensitive only to light and darknesscalled monochromats. (Like watching a black and white TV). Partial colour blindness is a sex linked trait, that affects mostly males. These people are known as dichromats. They can discriminate only between two colours- red-green or blue -yellow and the colours that are derived from mixing these colours. (e.g a dichromat could put on one red and one green sock and not know the difference, but would not confuse a red and a blue sock. A monochromat might put on socks of any colour as long as they didnt differ in intensity (brightness). 11. Hearing In space no one can hear you scream. Space is a vacuum. Sound or auditory stimulation travels through air like waves. Like ripples in a pond. The sound of a splash is caused by changes in air pressure that approach your ear in waves. The human ear is sensitive to sound waves with frequencies from 20 to 20,000 cycles per second. The number of cycles per second is expressed in hertz (Hz). One cycle per second is 1 Hz. a) Pitch and Loudness Two psychological dimensions of sound. The greater the number of cycles per second the higher the pitch. (frequency) The loudness of a sound roughly corresponds to the height or amplitude of the sound waves and is expressed in decibels (dB). 25 dB is equivalent in loudness to a whisper at 5 feet. 30 dB is the limit of loudness before your kicked out of the library and exposure to sounds of 85 to 90 dB can cause hearing damage. 12 The Ear The ear has three parts: outer ear, middle ear and inner ear. The outer ear is shaped to funnel sound waves to the ear drum. a) The eardrum is a thin membrane that vibrates in response to sound waves and thereby transmits them to the middle and inner ears. The middle ear contains the eardrum and three small bones: the hammer, the anvil and the stirrup. The middle ear functions as an amplifier, by increasing the pressure of the air entering the ear. a) the stirrup is attached to another vibrating membrane called the oval window. The oval window transmits vibrations into the inner ear to a bony tube called the cochlea.

b) The cochlea- is a snail shaped structure that contains longitudinal membranes that divide into three fluid filled chambers. One of the membranes that lies within the cochlea is the basilar membrane. c) Attached to the basilar membrane is the organ of Corti- sometimes called the command post of hearing. Here there are 16,000 receptor cells called hair cells. d) Hair cells dance in response to the vibrations of the basilar membrane. Their up and down movements generate neural impulses which are transmitted to the brain via the auditory nerve. e) Auditory input is then projected onto the hearing areas of the temporal lobes of the cerebral cortex. 13 Locating Sound: How do we know which direction a sound comes from? A sound that is louder in the right ear is perceived as coming from the right. A sound coming from the right also reaches the right ear first. Both loudness and sequence in which the sounds reach the ears provide directional cues. If source is directly in front or back so equally distant and equally loud we simply turn our head to determine in which ear the sound increases. 14 Perceptions of Loudness and Pitch The loudness and pitch of sounds appear to be related to the number of receptor neurons on the organ of Corti tht fire and how often they fire. Psychologists generally agree that sounds are perceived as louder when more of these sensory neurons fire. Pitch Perception: How distinguish pitch? Hermann von Helmholtz developed Place Theory Place theory holds that the pitch of a sound is sensed according to the place along the basilar membrane that vibrates in response to it. Receptor neurons line up on basilar membrane like piano keys. The higher the pitch the closer the neurons to the oval window.- Place theory only applies to frequencies that are at least 4000 Hz. Frequency Theory- notes that for us to perceive lower pitches we need the stimulation of neural impulses that match the frequency of the sound waves-that is in response to pitches between 20-1000 Hz, hair cells in the basilar membrane fire at the same frequency as the sound waves. Neurons cant fire more than 1000 times per second. Frequency theory only accounts for pitch perception between 20 and a few hundred cycles per second. Volley Principle: Accounts for pitch discrimination between a few hundred and 4000 cycles per second. In response to sound waves of these frequencies, groups of neurons take turns firing, in the same way one row of soldiers fires while another knelt to reload. Alternate firing (volleying) transmits pitches in the intermediate range.

15 Deafness Two major types of deafness are conductive and sensorineural deafness. a) conductive deafness- stems from damage to the structures of the middle ear (eardrum and three bones that conduct and amplify sound waves) b) This type of impairment is often found among older people and is treated by the use of hearing aids that provide amplification. c) Sensorineural deafness- usually stems from damage to the structures of the inner ear, most often the loss of hair cells, which normally dont regenerate. d) Also can stem from damage to the auditory nerve caused by such factors as disease or acoustic drama.- prolonged exposure to very loud noises. e) The ringing sensation that often follows exposure to loud noises probably means that hair cells have been damaged. 16. The Chemical Sensations: Smell and Taste Smell and taste are chemical senses. We sample molecules of the substances being sensed. Smell is the sense that senses odors. If we didnt have a sense of smell, an onion and the apple would taste the same. Humans can detect the odor of 1 one millionth of a miligram of vanilla in 1 liter of air. An odor is a sample of the substance being sensed. Odors are detected by sites on receptor neurons in the olfactory membrane high in each nostril. Their firing transmits information about odors to the brain via the olfactory nerve. The sense of smells adapts rapidly to odors such that we lose awareness of them. One odor can mask another- air fresheners. In many species, odors trigger instinctive responses. 17. Taste Dogs can detect sweetness, while cats cannot. There are four primary taste qualities: sweet, sour, salty, and bitter. The flavour of food depends on its odor, texture, and temperature as well as taste. Taste is sensed through taste cells, receptor neurons located on taste buds. a) Humans have approximately 10,000 taste buds, most of which are located on the edge and back of your tongue. b) Taste buds tend to specialize a bit- some are more responsive to sweetness while others react to several tastes.

c) Taste receptors also found in the roof, sides, back of the mouth and in the throat. Some are even in your stomach. d) Sensitivities to different tastes have a genetic component. e) Taste cells reproduce rapidly enough to completely renew themselves about once a week. f) Because the flavour of food represents both its taste and its odor, older people experience loss of the flavour on their food, not taste. Thus it is a decline in the sense of smell that is experienced. 18 Skin Senses The skin senses include: touch, pressure, warmth, cold and pain. Touch and pressure a) Active touching involves reception of information concerning not only touch per se but also pressure, temperature, and feedback from the muscles involved in the movement of our hands. b) In other words we need to move our hands to continue sensing what we are touching or the sensation fades. Psychophysicists use methods such as the two-point threshold to assess the sensitivity to pressure.- determines the smallest distance by which two rods touching the skin must be separated before the (blindfolded) individual reports that there are two rods rather than one. a) with this method they have determined that sensory nerve endings are more densely packed in the fingertips and the face than in other locations. b) The sense of pressure, like the sense of touch undergoes rapid adaptation. (e.g. you may have undertaken several strategic moves to wind up with your hand on the arm or leg of your date, only to discover that adaptation to the source of pressure reduces the sensation) Temperature The receptors for temperature are neurons located just beneath the skin. When skin temperature increases, the receptors for warmth fire. Decreases in temperature make receptors for cold fire. Sensations of temperature are relative. When we are at normal body temperature we can perceive another person as warm, when we are feverish may perceive others as cool. 19 Kinesthesis and Vestibular Sense Kinesthesis- the sense that informs you about the position and motion of parts of the body. How it works- sensory information is fed back to the brain from sensory organs in the joints, tendons and muscles. Vestibular sense- tells you whether you are upright. How it works- sensory organs in the semicircular canals and elsewhere in the ears monitor your bodys motion and position in relation to gravity. They tell you if you are falling and provide cues as to whether your body is changing speed.

20 Extrasensory Perception: Is there perception without sensation? There is no hard evidence to support the existence of ESP. ESP or psi communication refers to the perception of objects or events through means other than sensory organs. Associated with ESP: Precognition, Psychokinesis, Telepathy, and Clairvoyance. Precognition: able to perceive future events. Telepathy: the direct transmission of thoughts or ideas from one person to another. Psychokinesis: mentally manipulating or moving objects. Clairvoyance: the perception of objects that do not stimulate the sensory organs. Joseph Banks Rhine investigated ESP for several decades with the conclusion that some people might have some degree of ESP. More current method for studying telepathy is the Ganzfield procedureParker (2000) one person acts as the sender and the other as the receiver. Receivers correctly identified the visual stimulus 38% of the time, a percentage unlikely to be due to chance. Reasons for skepticism: File drawer problem: ESP researchers are less likely to report research results that show failure. People who have demonstrated ESP with one researcher have failed to do so with another researcher Not one person has emerged who can reliably show ESP from one occasion to another or one researcher to another. 21 Pain Pain means that something is wrong in the body. Pain is adaptive. Its unpleasant and motivates us to do something about it. We can sense pain throughout most of the body, however pain is usually sharpest where nerve endings are densely packed. There are no nerve endings for pain in the brain brain surgery can be done with a local anesthetic that prevents the feeling of drilling through the skull. Prostaglandins ( and a substance called P) facilitate transmissions of the pain message to the brain and heighten circulation to the injured area. a) inflammation serves the biological function of attracting infection-fighting blood cells to the affected area and protect it against invading germs. b) The pain message is relayed from the spinal cord to the thalamus and then projected to the cerebral cortex making us aware of the location and the intensity of the damage. Other aspects influence pain:

a) visual and other sensory inputs tell us what is happening and influence the cognitive interpretation of the situation. Phantom Limb Pain About 2 out of 3 combat veterans with amputated limbs report feeling pain in a missing or phantom limb. Why? Seems to involve the activation of nerves in the stump of the missing limb. Gate Theory Why does rubbing your knee when you bump it relieve pain? According to Melzack (1999) the nervous system can process only a limited amount of stimulation at one time, Rubbing your knee transmits sensations to the brain that compete for the attention of neurons. Many neurons are thus prevented from transmitting pain messages to the brain, Acupuncture How does it work? Research has shown that acupuncture stimulates nerves that reach the hippocampus and may also result in the release of endorphins. 22 Coping with Pain The primary treatment has been chemical; pain killing drugs. Accurate information: giving people accurate information and thorough information about their condition often helps them manage pain. Knowledge of medical procedures: reduces stress by helping people maintain control over the situation. Distraction and Fantasy: diverting attention from the pain helps many people cope with it. Hypnosis: used to reduce chronic pain, as an anesthetic in dentistry, childbirth and even in some types of surgery. a) hypnosis can also aid in the use of distraction and fantasy. Relaxation Training and Biofeedback a) Tensing the muscles is uncomfortable in itself, stimulates the sympathetic nervous system and focuses our attention on pain. b) Some psychological methods of relaxation focus on relaxing muscle groups, breathing exercises, and using relaxing imagery. c) Biofeedback is also used to help people relax targeted muscle groups. d) Relaxation training with biofeedback seems to be at least as effective as most medications for migraine headaches. e) Also effective for helping chronic pain in the lower back and jaw. f) Other methodsPain is a source of stress-there is many factors that moderate the effects of stress. One is a sense of commitment- if we are undergoing a painful treatment for an illness, it might be helpful to recall that we chose to participate rather than see ourselves as a helpless victim.

Two is a supportive social network: -psychological benefits of having friends visit us when we are unwell or visiting sick friends.

Lecture Tutorial 1. Visual perception: The process by which we organize or make sense of our sensory impressions caused by the light that strikes our eyes. a) visual perception involves our knowledge, expectations and motivations. b) Visual perception is an active process through which we interpret the world around us, whereas sensations are a mechanical process. c) How do we organize the disparate bits of information into a meaningful whole? d) Closure- Gestalt psychologists refer to the process of integration of disconnected pieces of information into a meaningful whole or the tendency to perceive a complete whole figure even when there are gaps in the sensory input.- the whole is more than the sum of its parts. e) Max Wertheimer- discovered many rules that we use to do this called the laws of perceptual organization. 2. Figure Ground Perception- the tendency to perceive geometric forms against a background. a) When figure-ground relationships are ambiguous, or capable of being interpreted in various ways, our perceptions tend to be unstable, shifting back and forth. (e.g. Rubin vase, or the Necker cube) (pg 152). 3. Other Gestalt Rules for Organization: proximity, similarity, continuity, and common fate. a) Proximity: nearness HH HH HH b) Similarity: we perceive similar objects as belonging together. XOXOXOXO XOXOXOXO XOXOXOXO XOXOXOXO c) Continuity: We perceive a series of points or a broken line as having unity. ------------------------------------

d) Common fate: Elements seen as moving together are perceived as belonging together or unified in purpose. (e.g. a group of runners or a flock of birds)

4. Top Down versus Bottom Up Processing Top down processing- use the larger pattern to guide subordinate tasks (i.e. putting together a puzzle while looking at a picture of the completed puzzle. Bottom Up Processing- begin with bits and pieces of information and become aware of the pattern formed only after youve worked on it awhile. Putting the puzzle together without knowledge of the completed picture. 5. Perception of Motion The visual perception of motion is based on change of position relative to other objects. (ie, how do you determine which bus is moving yours or the bus adjacent to you?) Look for stationary object to judge. Psychologists have studied several types of apparent movement (illusions of movement). These include autokinetic effect, stroboscopic motion, and the phi phenomenon. a) Autokinetic effect: the tendency to perceive a stationary point of light as moving in a dark room. b) Stroboscopic motion- what makes motion pictures possible. Movement is provided by the presentation of a rapid progression of images of stationary objects. (Audience is shown 16-22 frames per second-each frame differs slightly from the preceding one- creates illusion of movement. c) Phi phenomenon-the on-off process of lights is perceived as movement. (Electronic billboard- as first row of lights is switched off the second row is switched on). Related to the law of continuity we tend to perceive a series of points as having unity, so each series of lights (points) is perceived as a moving line. 6. Depth Perception Monocular and binocular cues both help us to perceive the depth of an object. a) Monocular cues: are the cues that can be perceived by one eye. They include perspective, relative size, clearness, interposition, shadows, and texture gradient. These cues cause certain objects to appear more distant from the viewer than others.

Perspective: distances between far off objects appear to be smaller than equivalent distances of nearby objects. We tend to see parallel lines as converging as they recede from us Relative size: the fact that distant objects look smaller than nearby objects of the same size. Clearness: We sense more details of nearby objects. Far away objects appear to have less detail. Interposition: Nearby objects can block our view of more distant objects. Interposition is placing one object in front of another. Experience teaches us that partially covered objects are further away. Shadows: opaque objects block light and produce shadows giving us a relationship to the source of light. Texture gradient: close objects are perceived as having a rougher texture. Motion parallex: the tendency of objects to appear to move backwards or forwards as a function of their distance. (e.g. driving in a car distant objects like the moon, appear to be moving along with you. Objects that are an intermediate distance appear to be stationary mountains. Objects that are close like trees, road signs appear to go by fast. We learn that objects that move along with us are at a greater distance. b) Binocular cues The cues that involve both eyes. Two binocular cues include retinal disparity and convergence. Retinal disparity- the differences between projected images (e.g. different angles). (right index finger at arms length, then put left index finger in same line about a foot closer- image of each finger projected onto the retina of each eye, each image will be slightly different because seen from different anglecloser objects have greater retinal disparity. In the case of the close finger the two fingers appear to be farther apart. Convergence- Causes feelings of tension in the eye muscles and provides another binocular cue for depth. When we try to keep a single image of the closer finger our eyes must turn inward making us cross-eyed. 7. Perceptual Constancies Allow us to recognize objects even when their apparent size or shape differs. There are a number of perceptual constancies including: Size constancy: allows us to perceive objects to be the same size even when viewed from different distances. (e.g. people may look like ants from the top of a building, but we know they are full size people) Experience tells us about perspective. Colour constancy: the tendency to perceive objects as retaining their colour even though lighting conditions may alter their appearance. Your yellow car is still yellow even at twilight. Brightness constancy: similar to colour constancy. We expect a bright orange car to fade to grey with darkness.

Shape constancy: is the tendency to perceive objects as maintaining their shape, even if we look at them from different angles so that the shape of their image on the retina changes dramatically. You perceive the top of a coffee cup to be a circle, even though its only a circle when seen from abouve. If you are looking at it from the side it is an ellipse. Why? Experience. Both seen it from above and you have labeled the cup as a circular object.