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Top-down vs. Bottom Up Processing

 Bottom up processing
M cnalysis that begins with the sensory receptors and works up to the brain͛s integration
of sensory information
M etection via receptor cells (flicker, crackle, smoky smell)-transduction: encode physical
energy as neural signals-transmission to brain-organization and interpretation-behavior,
thoughts, emotions (move nearer, warm hands, feel comforted)
 Top-down processing
M unformation processing guided by higher-level mental processes, as when we construct
perceptions drawing on our experience and expectations.
M u , or sensation, leads to   , which leads to the  (behavior, thoughts,
M   -experience, motivation, and expectations (fond campfire memories,
expectations of warmth and camaraderie)-organization and interpretation-behavior,
thoughts, and emotions (move nearer, warm hands, feel comforted)

Thresholds: absolute threshold, difference threshold, Weber͛s Law, Signal etection Theory

 c    -the minimum stimulation needed to detect a particular stimulus 50 percent
of the time
        -a theory predicting how and when we detect the presence of a faint
stimulus (͞signal͟) amid background stimulation (͞noise͟). cssumes there is no single absolute
threshold and that detection depends partly on a person͛s experience, expectations, motivation,
and level of fatigue. ͚
M etecting weak stimulus, or signal, depends not only on signal͛s strength (such as
hearing-test tone), but also on our psychological state-our expectations, motivation, and
alertness. (think stressed out parents, soldier in uraq)
       -the minimum difference between two stimuli required for detection 50
percent of the time. We experience the difference threshold as a just noticeable difference.
M -equires low absolute threshold
M Parent must be able to detect the sound of their own child͛s voice amid other children͛s
M The principle that, to be perceived as different, two stimuli must differ by a constant
minimum percentage (rather than a constant amount)
M -ough approximation
M Threshold for detecting differences are roughly constant proportion of size of original
M Dxamples
r cmt. needed to notice the difference between two lights: 8%
r cmt. needed to notice the difference between two objects weight: 2%
r cmt. needed to notice the difference between two tones: .03 %

Vision: Properties of waves and how they determine what we see (wavelength, amplitude). Visual
pathway, parts of the eye, function of rods and cones, 3 theories of color vision

 Properties of waves and how they determine what we see

M We don͛t see actual colors-we see pulses of electromagnetic energy that our visual
system perceives as color. Lights have    that help us see them
M £  -the distance from the peak of one light wave to the peak of the next.
r This determines it͛s hue (the color we experience such as blue or green)
M The colors we see are all determined by the wavelengths͛    
M å   is the number of complete wavelengths that pass a point in a given time (per
second, for example).
r Short wavelength=higher frequency=cool colors
r Long wavelength=low frequency=hot colors
M c  is responsible for the bright, or dullness of a color
r „reat amplitude (or Hu„HD- wave [from top to bottom])=bright colors
r Small amplitude (or lower wave [from top to bottom])=dull colors
 Visual pathway
M Steps
r Light enters the lens of the eye and triggers photochemical reaction in rods and
cones at back of retina (cross section of retina)
r These reactions activate neighboring bipolar cells which activate neighboring
ganglion cells
r „anglion axons forming the optic nerve (by connecting to make a network of
ganglion cells to make a strand of rope) run to the thalamus
r un the thalamus, they synapse with neurons that run to the visual cortex.
 Parts of the eye
M  -adjustable opening in the center of the eye through which light enters
M u -a ring of muscle tissue that forms the colored portion of the eye around the pupil
and controls the size of the pupil opening
M g -protects the eye and bends light to provide focus
M  -transparent structure that forms the colored portion of the eye around the pupil
and controls the size of the pupil opening
M  -point at which the optic nerve leaves the eye, creating a ͞blind͟ spot because
no receptor cells are located there
M -  -light-sensitive inner surface of the eye, containing the receptor rods and cones
plus layers of neurons that begin the processing of visual information
M ]       -nerve that carries neural impulses from the eye to
the brain
M å -central focal point in the retina around which the eye͛s cones cluster
 åunction of -ods and Cones
M - -retinal receptors that detect white, black and gray; necessary for peripheral and
twilight vision, when cones don͛t respond
r Work in dark rooms, that is why you only see the above colors when a room is
r m20 million in the human eye
r Located in the periphery retina
r Highly sensitive in dim light
r ot color sensitive
r ot detail sensitive
r o direct hotline from ͞rod͟ to ͞brain͟
M g -retinal receptor cells that are concentrated near the center of the retina and that
function in daylight or in well-lit conditions. The cones detect fine detail and give rise to
color sensations.
r Cluster around the   (central focus)
r å -only contains cones, no rods
r 6 million in human eye
r Low sensitivity in dim light
r Color sensitive
r etail sensitive
r Dach cone has its own hotline from ͞cone͟ to ͞brain͟
 3 theories of color vision
M M 
     -theory that the retina contains
three different color receptors-one most sensitive to red, one to green, one to blue-
which when stimulated in combination can produce the perception of any color
M ] -  -theory that opposing retinal processes (red-green, yellow-
blue, white-black) enable color vision. åor example, some cells are stimulated by green
and inhibited by red; others are stimulated by red and inhibited by green.
M gg  -perceiving familiar objects as having consistent color even u changing
illumination alters the wavelengths reflected by the object

Hearing: properties of waves and how they determine what we hear (wavelength, amplitude). cuditory
pathway, parts of the ear, three theories of how we perceive pitch, sound location

 Properties of waves and how they determine what we hear

M (see above definitions of wavelength, frequency, and amplitude)
M Short wavelength=high frequency=high-pitched sounds
M Long wavelength=low frequency=low-pitched sounds
M „reat amplitude=loud sounds
M Small amplitude=soft sounds
 cuditory pathway
M ]  channels sound waves through auditory canal to the eardrum
M w then transmits the eardrums vibrations through a piston made of three tiny
bones (the and  ) to the inner ear (cochlea)
M These vibrations cause the cochlea͛s membrane to vibrate, jostling the fluid that fills the
M This motion causes ripples in the basilar membrane, which is lined with 
M The rippling of the basilar membrane bends the hair cells.
M wovement of the hair cells triggers impulses in the adjacent nerve fibers, which in turn
converge to form the auditory nerve. 
M By means of this mechanical chain of events, sound waves cause the hair cells of the
inner ear to send neural messages (via the thalamus) to the temporal lobe͛s auditory
 Parts of the ear
M ] - channels sound waves through auditory canal to the eardrum
M w  -chamber between the eardrum and cochlea containg three tiny bones (see
above) that concentrate the vibrations of the eardrum on the cochlea͛s oval window. 
M u -the innermost part of the ear, containing the cochlea, semicircular canals, and
vestibular sacs
M g -a coiled, bony, fluid-filled tube in the inner ear through which sound waves
trigger nerve impulses
M  -tight membrane that vibrates with waves
M  w   -inside of cochlea lined with protruding hair cells
 Three Theories of how we perceive pitch
M   -in hearing, the theory that links the pitch we hear with the place where
the cochlea͛s membrane is stimulated
M å   -in hearing, the theory that the rate of nerve impulses traveling up the
auditory nerve matches the frequency of a tone, thus enabling us to sense its pitch
M Î    -neural cells alternate firing by firing in rapid succession for a combined
frequency of above m000 times per second
 Sound localization
M Two ears on both sides of the head
r uf sound comes from the right side, we hear it a fraction earlier in the right ear
than we do in the left and vice versa

„ate-control theory of pain, the five tastes, kinesthesis, vestibular sense

   -theory that the spinal cord contains a neurological ͞gate͟ that
blocks pain signals or allows them to pass on the brain. The ͞gate͟ is opened by the activity of
pain signals traveling up small nerve fibers or by information coming from the brain
M Bitter
M Salty
M Sour
M Sweet
M Umami
 §   -system for sensing the position and movement of individual body parts
 Î    -sense of body movement and position, including the sense of balance


Selective attention, inattentional blindness

       -the focusing of conscious awareness on a particular stimulus, as in the

cocktail party effect
 u      -failing to see visible objects when our attention is directed elsewhere

„estalt, figure-ground, depth perception and visual cliff

-an organized whole. „estalt psychologists emphasized our tendency to integrate
pieces of information into meaningful wholes.
 å  - -the organization of the visual field into objects (the  ) that stand out
from their surroundings (the  )
      -ability to see objects in three dimensions although the images that strike
the retina are two dimensional; allows us to judge the distance
 Î  -laboratory device for testing depth perception in infants and young animals

wonocular cues: relative size, interposition, texture gradient, relative clarity

 -    -if we assume that two objects are similar in size, we perceive the one that
casts the smaller retinal image as farther away.
 u     -if one object partially blocks our view of another, we perceive it as closer
    -a gradual change from a coarse, distinct texture to a fine, indistinct texture
signals increasing distance. Objects far away appear smaller and more densely packed
 -   -because light from distant objects passes through more atmosphere, we
perceive hazy objects as farther away in sharp, clear objects

wotion perception: phi phenomenon, stroboscopic movement

      -an illusion of movement created when two or more adjacent lights blink
on and off in quick succession
M Looks like light-up signs with the arrow on it is moving
     -no book definition
M Think of when you take a bunch of sticky note papers and draw a stick figure slightly
more altered on each page to make a cartoon
Perceptual constancy: shape and size constancies

    -perceiving objects as unchanging (having consistent lightness, color,

shape, and size) even as illumination and retinal images change
    -book definition unclear
M Think of a door. Dven though when its open, it no longer looks like a rectangle (it
looks more like a trapezoid), we know it is still a rectangle
M uf you see a car down the street, you know its real size, even though it looks smaller.
ut is just farther away

Perceptual Sets

   -mental predisposition to perceive one thing and not another

M Think of mouse/old man face

Human factors psychologists

   -branch of psychology that explores how people and machines
interact and how machines and physical environments can be made safe and easy to use. 
M Think of the stoves that are easily mapped out