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BPS 1014 PSYCHOLOGY Topic 3: Sensation and Perception Introduction Sensation 1.

A process by which a simulated receptor create a pattern of neural messages that represent the stimulus in the brain. In other words, it is the detection of physical energy by sense organs, which then send information to the brain. 2. The study of sensation is concerned with the initial contact between organisms and their physical environment. It focuses on describing the relationship between various forms of sensory stimulation (e.g. sound waves, pressure) and how these inputs are registered by our sense organs (the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and skin).

Perception 1. A process that makes sensory patterns meaningful, or it is the brains interpretation of these raw sensory inputs. 2. Sensation allows us to pick up the signals in our environments, and perception allows us to assemble this signal into something meaningful. How Does Stimulation Become Sensation? 1. Our senses enable us to see and hear, to feel a touch, determine body position, maintain balance, and smell and taste. Despite their difference, all of these senses rely on a mere handful of basic principles. The brain senses the world indirectly because the sense organs convert stimulation into the language of the nervous system: neural messages. 2. Transduction: Going from the outside world to within the process by which the nervous system converts an external energy or a substance into excitation or inhibition. 3. Sensory Receptors, specialized neurons that are activated by stimulation and transduce (convert) the incoming stimulus into electrochemical signals 4. Sensory Pathway - Bundles of neurons that carry information from the sense organs to the brain 5. Absolute Threshold - Amount of stimulation necessary for a stimulus to be detected 6. Difference Threshold - Smallest amount by which a stimulus can be changed and the difference be detected (also called just noticeable difference: JND)

7. Webers Law - The size of the JND is proportional to the intensity of the stimulus. The JND is always large when the stimulus intensity is high, and small when the stimulus intensity is low Fundamental Features of the Human Senses

Perception: When our senses meet our minds Theoretical Explanations for Perception Gestalt Psychology 1. States that much of perception is shaped by innate factors built into the brain 2. Learning-Based Inference a. View that perception is primarily shaped by prior learning and experience 3. Perceptual Set a. Readiness to detect a particular stimulus in a given context

Perceptual Hypotheses/Organization: Guessing whats out There. 1. Perceptual sets the relation between a stimulus and its context.

Depending on our perspectives, the drawing on top can appear to be a young woman or an old one. Which one you perceived first? 2. Perceptual constancy the process by which we perceive stimuli consistently across varied conditions shape, size, color constancy Perceptual constancy is defined as our tendencies to perceive physical objects as unchanged despite shifts in the pattern of sensations. There are several types of perceptual constancy: size constancy shape constancy color constancy brightness constancy

a) b) c) d)

1. Size constancy is the tendency to perceive a physical object as having a constant size even when the image it casts on the retina changes. 2. Shape constancy is the tendency to perceive a physical object as having a constant shape even when the image it casts on the retina changes. 3. Color constancy is the tendency to perceive the color of objects as the same even when illumination varies. 4. Brightness constancy is the phenomenon by which objects tend to maintain their appropriate brightness, even when illumination varies. 3. Selective attention allow us to select one channel and turn off the others 4. The binding problem putting the pieces together

Extrasensory perception (ESP) We can perceive events outside of the unknown channels of sensation, like seeing, hearing, and touch. 3 types: 1. Precognition 2. Telepathy 3. Clairvoyance Major Senses Vision 5. It is in the eye that light energy is converted into neural code understandable to our nervous system. 6. Light rays pass through a transparent protective structure called the cornea. 7. They then enter the eye through the pupil, a round opening whose size varies with lighting conditions: the less light present, the wider the pupil opening. 8. These adjustments are executed by the iris, the colored part of the eye, which is actually a circular muscle that contracts or expands to let in varying amounts of light. 9. They then pass through the lens, a clear structure whose shape adjusts to permit us to focus on objects at varying distances. 10. Light rays then are projected on the retina at the back of the eyeball. 11. The retina contains two types of receptor cells, cones and rods. 12. Cones are located in the center of the retina, function best in bright light and play a key role in color vision and in our ability to notice fine detail. 13. Rods are located on the sides or periphery of the retina, function best under dim light. 14. Dark adaptation is the process through which our visual system increases its sensitivity to light under low levels of illumination.

15. Visual perception 1. Feature detection our ability to use certain minimal patterns to identify objects 2. Subjective Contours our brain provide missing information about outlines 3. Gestalt principles a) figure-ground b) continuity c) proximity d) similarity e) closure f) good-figure 1. Figure-ground - When we perceive a visual stimulus, part of what we see is the center of our attention, that is, the figure, and the rest is the ground. Examples: young verses old lady. 2. Continuity - We tend to perceive lines or patterns that follow a smooth contour as being part of a single unit. 3. Proximity - Things that are proximal are usually perceived as belonging together. 4. Similarity is the tendency to perceive objects that resembles each other as forming a group. 5. Closure - Incomplete figures tend to be perceived as complete wholes. 6. Good-figure - We tend to perceive good figure, that is, a simple and symmetrical figure.

Depth Perception : How we perceive depth? 1. Depth perception is our ability to judge depth and distance. 2. Visual Cliff Experiment Illustrates the developmental age at which depth is perceived

3. We make use of different cues in forming such judgements. Those cues are divided into two categories: a) monocular cues b) binocular cues 4. Monocular cues are the cues to depth or distance that provided by one eye whereas binocular cues are the cues to depth or distance provided by two eyes.

5. Several examples of monocular cues: a) texture gradient b) linear perspective c) superposition / overlap / interposition d) light and shadow e) motion parallax / speed of movement f) atmospheric perspective / aerial perspective g) size cues / relative size / accommodation 6. Two types of binocular cues are: a) convergence b) retinal disparity 7. Texture gradient - The texture of a surface appears smoother as distance increases. 8. Linear perspective - Parallel lines appear to converge in the distance; the greater this effect, the father away an object appears to be. 9. Overlap (interposition) - If one object overlaps one another, it is seen as being closer than the one it covers. 10. Light and shadow - The brighter objects are perceived as closer, whereas darker, dimmer objects are perceived as farther away. 11. Motion parallax - A moving observer perceives that objects at various distances move at different speeds. 12. Atmospheric perspective - The farther away objects are, the less distinctly they are seen. 13. Size cues (relative size) - The larger the image of an object on the retina, the larger it is judge to be; if an object is larger than other objects, it is often perceived as closer. 14. Retinal Disparity - Our two eyes observe objects from slightly different positions in space. The difference between these two images is interpreted by our brain to provide another cue to depth. 15. Convergence - In order to see close objects, our eyes turn inward, toward one another; the greater this movement, the closer such objects appear to be.

Visual Illusion / Optical Illusion 1. Illusion is the instances in which perception yields false interpretations of physical reality. 2. Examples of visual illusion: a) Ponzo illusion b) Muller-Lyer illusion

Hearing 1. The ear is composed of three major sections: the outer ear, the middle ear, and the inner ear. The outer ear gathers and focuses sound waves. The middle ear amplifies and concentrates sounds. The inner ear contains the receptor cells that ultimately transduce the energy created by sounds into neural impulses. 2. Sound waves are gathered and funneled into the outer ear by the pinna, the external, visible part of the ear. 3. The pinna channels the sound waves into the auditory canal, a tube like structure that focuses the sound. 4. The sound waves then hit the eardrum, which cause it to vibrate. 5. The vibrating eardrum causes the three tiniest bones in the body, the malleus (hammer), the incus (anvil), and the stapes (stirrup), to vibrate. (Together these three bones are referred to as ossicles. 6. The stapes presses on a membrane called oval window, and causes it to vibrate. 7. The movement of the oval window creates waves in the fluid that fills the cochlea, a snail-shaped structure that contains the receptors for hearing known as hair cells. 8. As the sound waves travel through the cochlear fluid, the hair cells would bend from side to side. It is at this point that the energy of the wave is transduced into electrochemical impulses that are carried by the auditory nerve to the brain.

Smell and taste a) Olfaction 1. The sense of smell, or olfaction, results from stimulation of receptor cells in the nose. These receptors are embedded in a mucus-coated membrane called the olfactory epithelium. 2. Human beings possess about ten million of these receptors. 3. Molecules of odorous substances are dissolved in moisture present in the nasal passages. This brings them into contact with receptor cells whose neural activity gives rise to sensations of smell. b) Gustation 1. The sensory receptors for taste, or gustation, are located inside small bumps on the tongue known as papillae. 2. Within each papilla is a cluster of taste buds that contain several taste receptor cells. 3. When we chew our food, the fluid runs over the papillae and into the pores to the taste buds. This is why we should chew our food slowly and completely to get maximum taste satisfaction. The Body Senses 1. The body senses include the skin senses of pressure, warmth and cold, and pain; the vestibular sense of balance; and the kinesthetic sense of body position and movement. 2. The skin senses refer to the sensory system for detecting pressure, temperature, and pain. Skin provides the brain with basic survival information. 3. The vestibular sense is the sense of body orientation and position with respect to gravity (in other words, the sense of balance). 4. The vestibular apparatus is located in the inner ear and is composed of the vestibular sacs and the semicircular canals. 5. Kinesthesis is the sense that provides the brain with information about body posture and orientation, as well as bodily movement. The kinesthetic receptors are found throughout the muscles, joints, and tendons of the body.