Psychology- Ch5

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What are retinal and tonotopic mapping?
The mapping of the retina onto the visual cortex and the tonal frequency map of the auditory cortex
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What is sensorineural hearing?
Deafness caused by damage to the auditory nerve- nerve deafness.
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What do sensory prosthetic devices provide?
sensory input that can, to some extent, substitute for what cannot be supplied by the person's sensory receptors. sensory input that can, to some extent, substitute for what cannot be supplied by the person’s sensory receptors.
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What is Myopia?
(nearsightedness) • Visual image is focused in front of retina (or too near lens) • Occurs because the eyeball is longer than normal
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What is Hyperopia
(farsightedness) • Image is focused behind retina (or too far from lens) • Lens doesn’t thicken enough
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What is accomodation?
The process of Focusing the image directly & sharply onto the retina -determines good all-round vision.
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What is dark adaptation?
the progressive improvement in brightness sensitivity that occurs over time under conditions of low illumination.
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the stimulus-detection process by which our sense organs respond to & translate environmental stimuli into nerve impulses that are sent to the brain
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making ‘sense’ of what our senses tell us. This is the active process of organizing the stimulus output and giving it meaning
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the scientific area that studies relations between the physical characteristics of stimuli and sensory capabilities.
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What two kinds of sensitivity is psychophysics concerned with?
• Absolute limits of sensitivity- e.g. the minimum amount of light we need to be able to see • Differences between stimuli- e.g. how much difference does there need to be in a pitch of sound to detect different notes?
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What are feature detectors?
cells within the primary visual cortex that fire selectively in response to visual stimuli that have specific characteristics.
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What is the visual association cortex responsible for?
recognizing and experiencing objects.
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What is the absolute threshold?
the lowest intensity at which a stimulus can be detected 50% of the time. (This allows for variation, and can therefore be confident it is genuine detection rather than just chance.) →the lower the absolute threshold, the greater the sensitivity
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What is a Subliminal Stimuli?
a stimulus that is so weak or brief that although it is received by the sense, it is not perceived consciously.
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What is the difference threshold?
The smallest difference between two stimuli that people can perceive 50% of the time (a Just Noticeable Difference- ‘jnd’)
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What is weber's law?
the difference threshold is directly proportional to the magnitude of the stimulus with which the comparison is being made and can be expressed as a Weber Fraction.
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The weber fraction of weights is 1/50. What does this mean?
This means that if you lift a weight of 50 grams, a comparison weight must be at least 51 grams in order for you to be able to judge it as heavier.
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What is additive colour mixture?
If beams of light that fall at certain points within the blue/green/red colour range are directed together onto a surface in correct proportions, an additive mixture of wavelengths will result. This can produce any colour in the visible spectrum
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What produces white?
the point where all three colours intersect
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What is subtractive colour mixture?
mixing pigments or paints produces new colours by subtraction – that is, by removing (i.e., absorbing) other wavelengths. Paints absorb (subtract) colours different from themselves while reflecting their own colour.
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What are the primary colours in a) additive colour mixture b)subtractive colour mixture?
a) blue, green and red b)blue, yellow and red
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How is the opponent process theory demonstrated?
Negative colour afterimages e.g. staring at a blue and yellow flag then at a piece of white paper- opposite colours appear due to fatigued- so white surface creates a rebound opponent reaction
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Dictionary definition of sound
Vibrations transmitted through an elastic solid or a liquid or gas, with frequencies in the approximate range of 20 to 20,000 hertz, capable of being detected by human organs of hearing.
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What is Frank Zappa's definition of sound?
• Ear-related molecule sculptures (he thought people that sculpt the molecules of sound were composers)- in addition to that, the environment and our ears shape sound.
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Current scientific definition of sound
• Sound consists of sound waves – pressure waves travelling through any medium that will allow their conduction
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What are the two characteristics of sound?
Frequency: number of sound waves/second (relates to pitch) Measured in Hz. Amplitude: vertical size of sound waves (relates to volume we hear) measured in dB
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What is human's absolute threshold in dB?
0 (we cannot hear anything below this)
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What amplitude of sound is potentially dangerous?
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10 more decibels means...
Sound increases by 10x
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What is gustation?
the sense of tase
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What is olfaction?
the sense of smell
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What are body senses?
kinaethesis (muscle movement) and equilibrium
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What is proprioreception?
(the felt, or perceived position of the body in space)- produced by the senses of touch, kinaethesis (muscle movement) and equilibrium-
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What is unami?
a mysterious taste sensation, which increases the intensity of the other taste qualities. This sensory response is activated by certain proteins, aswell as MSG (monosodium glutamate)
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What is vestibular sense?
the sense of body orientation, or equilibrium and balance
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Why do some people experience phantom limbs?
Sometimes the brain ‘locates’ sensations that cannot possibly be present. Apparently an irritation of the nerves that used to originate in the limb fools the brain into interpreting the resulting nerve impulses as real sensations.
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What is top-down processing?
sensory information is interpreted in light of existing knowledge, concepts and expectations. E.g. reading (have 17 years of experience of knowing how letters, words and sentences work so already have some idea of context)
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What is bottom-up processing?
the system takes in individual elements of the same stimulus and then combines them into a unified perception
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What is the goal of perception?
to recognise objects in the environment according to organisation of their elements.
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What are figure-ground relations?
- our tendency to organize stimuli into a central or foreground figure & a background
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What is a perceptual schema?
A mental representation or image containing the critical & distinctive features of a person, object, event, or other perceptual phenomenon
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What is linear perspective?
the perception that parallel lines converge in the distance
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What is interposition?
objects closer to us may cut off part of our view of more distant objects
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What is Prospagnosia
the inability to recognise faces-usually caused by a traumatic brain injury of some kind.
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What is the ponzo illusion?
When two bars are the same size but appear to be different due to their positions on the picture.
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What is the Ames Room illusion?
When someone standing in one corner of a trapezoid room appears to be a giant compared to the person in the other corner (because the room appears rectanguar)
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What is synaesthesia?
“The mixing of the senses”
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Give two explanations for synaesthesia.
1) lack of pruning of neural connections that usually occurs in infancy 2)deficit in neural inhibitory processes in the brain that ordinarily keep input from on sensory modality from overflowing into other sensory areas.
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Card 2


What is sensorineural hearing?


Deafness caused by damage to the auditory nerve- nerve deafness.

Card 3


What do sensory prosthetic devices provide?


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


What is Myopia?


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


What is Hyperopia


Preview of the front of card 5
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