sensory systems

action
Motor activities such as moving the head or the eyes, and locomoting through the environment. Action is one of the major outcomes of the perceptual process.
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action potential
Rapid increase in positive charge in a nerve fiber (axon) that travels down the fiber. Also called nerve impulse or spike.
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afferent neurons
Neurons that carry action potentials from receptors in the sensory organs towards the central nervous system.
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auditory perception
The sense of “hearing”, one of the five traditional senses.
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bottom-up processing
Processing that is based on stimulation of the receptors. Also called data-based processing. The antonym is top-down processing.
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Central nervous system (CNS)
the brain and the spinal cord
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efferent neurons
Neurons that carry action potentials away from the central nervous system to effectors such as muscles.
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environmental stimulus
the stimulus 'out there', in external environment
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dualism
A major philosophical approach stating that the mind has an existence separate from the material world of the body. Dualists argue that mind and brain are two separate phenomena.
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gustatory perception
the sense of 'tasting'
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homonculus
A map-like representation of regions of the body in the brain.
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materialism
A major philosophical approach stating that the only thing that exists is matter, and that all things, including the mind and consciousness, are the result of interaction between bits of matter. Materialists argue that mind and brain are both physica
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neuron
One of two cell types in the nervous system (along with the glial cells). Neurons are responsible for processing sensory, motor, cognitive, and affective information.
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olfactory perception
the sense of 'smelling'
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perception
The organization, identification, and interpretation of sensory information in order to represent, understand, and interact with the environment.
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Peripheral nervous system (PNS)
The part of the nervous system apart from the brain and the spinal cord
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primary receiving areas
Areas of the cerebral cortex that are first to receive most of the signals initiated by a sense’s receptors. For example, the occipital cortex is the site of the primary receiving area for vision, and the temporal lobe is the site of the primary rece
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receptive field
A neuron’s receptive field is the area on the receptor surface (e.g., the retina for vision or the skin for touch) that, when stimulated, affects the firing of that neuron.
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receptor
A sensory receptor is a cell sensitive to environmental energy. Receptors change this energy into electrical signals in the nervous system
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recognition
The ability to place an object in a category that gives it meaning – for example, recognizing a particular red object as a tomato or giving a physical sound a semantic meaning.
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sensory organs
Specialized organs that interact with environmental stimuli and that contain receptors that transduce a specific type of stimulus energy into nerve activity (e.g., the eye in vision or the skin in touch).
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sensory systems
The parts of the nervous system, which are responsible for processing sensory information (e.g., the somatosensory system is a sensory system).
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tactile perception
the sense of 'touching'
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top-down processing
Processing that starts with the analysis of high-level information, such as knowledge a person brings to a situation. Also called knowledge-based processing. Distinguished from bottom-up, or data-based processing, which is based on incoming data.
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topographic maps
The ordered projection of a sensory surface (e.g., the retina or the skin) or an effector system (e.g., the musculature) to one or more structures of the central nervous system. Topographic maps can be found in all sensory systems and in many motor s
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transducer
A “device” that converts a signal in one form of energy to another form of energy
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transduction
In the senses, the conversion of environmental energy into electrical energy. For example, receptors in the eye transduce light energy into electrical energy.
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visual perception
the sense of 'seeing'
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

Rapid increase in positive charge in a nerve fiber (axon) that travels down the fiber. Also called nerve impulse or spike.

Back

action potential

Card 3

Front

Neurons that carry action potentials from receptors in the sensory organs towards the central nervous system.

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

The sense of “hearing”, one of the five traditional senses.

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

Processing that is based on stimulation of the receptors. Also called data-based processing. The antonym is top-down processing.

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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