Glossary of Psych Ch. 5

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the process that detects stimuli from our bodies and our environment
the process that organizes sensations into meaningful objects and events
the study of how physical stimuli are translated into psychological experience
the lowest level of intensity of a given stimulus that a person can detect half the time
absolute threshold
the theory that explains how detection of a stimulus is influenced by observers' expectations
signatl-detection theory
the smallest difference in the amount of stimulation that a specific sense can detect
just-noticeable difference (JND)
the principle that a weak or small stimulus does not require much change before a person notices that the stimulus has changed, but a strong or large stimulus requires a proportionately greater change before the change is noticed
Weber's law
the tendency for our sensory receptors to have decreasig responsiveness to stimuli that continue without change
sensory adaptation
the distance between two peaks of adjacent waves
a clear membrane covering th front of the eyeball that aids in visual acuity by bending light that falls on its surface
a ring of muscles that range in color from light blue to dark brown
a hole in the center of the iris that regulates how much light enters the eye
an elastic, disc-shaped structure that focuses light
a light-sensitive surface at the back of the eye
receptor neurons in the eye located at the edges of the retina that are sensitive to the brightness of light
receptor neurons in the eye located near the center of the retina that mediate color vision
the retina's area of central focus
the bundle of nerve cells that carries information from the retina to the brain
optic nerve
the area on the retina where the optic nerve leaves the eye and that contains no receptor cells
blind spot
cells in the visual cortex that respond only to a highly specific feature of a visula stimulus,such as a straight edge, and angle, movement of a spot, or brightness
feature detectors
a theory of color perception that proposes that there are three types of color receptors in the retina that produce the primary color sensations of red, green, and blue
trichromatic theory
a deficiency in the ability to distinguish among colors
color blindness
a visual image that persists after a stimulus has been removed
a theory proposing that color perception depends on receptors that make opposing responses to three pairs of colors
opponent-process theory
perceiving objects as having consistent color under different conditions of illumination
color constancy
the sense of hearing
pressure changes in a medium (air, water, solids) caused by the vibrations of molecules
sound waves
the number of sound waves that pass a given point in one second; corresponds to the psychological experience of pitch
the height of a sound wave; corresponds to the psychological experience of loudness
the extent to which a sound is composed of waves of different frequencies; corresponds to the psychological experience of timbre
the coiled, fluid-filled tube in the inner ear that contains the hairlike auditory receptors
a thin, flexible membrane at the end of the auditory canal that vibrates in sequence with sound waves
a membrne that runs down the middle of the cochlea that contains the auditory receptor
basilar membrane
the ability to lacate objects in space solely on the basis of the sounds they make
sound localization
a theory that pitch is determined by which place along the cochlea's basilar membrane is most activated
place theory
a theory that pitch is determined by the frequency with which the basilar membrane vibrates
frequency theory
a theory of pitch that neurons work in groups and alternate firing, thus achieving a combined frequency corresponding to the frequency of the sound wave
volley theory
the sense fo smell
the thin layer of tissue at the top of the nasal cavity that contains the olfactory receptor cells
olfactory epithelium
the sense of taste
taste receptors on the tongue
a theory of pain perception that proposes that small and large nerve fibers open and close "gateways" for pain in the spinal cord.
gate-control theory
a type of proprioceptive sense that provides information about the movement and location of body parts with respect to one another
kinesthetic sense
a type of proprioceptive sense that provides information on the position of the body - especially the head - in space
vestibular sense (or equilibrium)
an organized and coherent whole
the process by which sensations are organized into meaningful shapes and patterns
form perception
the gestalt principle that when peple focus on an object in their perceptual field, they automatically distinguish it from its surroundings
figure-ground relationships
the ability to perceive objects three-dimensionally
depth perception
depth cues that require information from both eyes
binocular cues
depth cues that require information from only one eye
monocular cues
the tendency to perceive objects as relatively stable despite continually changing sensory information
perceptual constancy
the form of perceptual constancy in which there is a tendency to perceive objects as stable in size despite changes in the size of their retinal images when they are viewed from different distances
size constancy
the form of perceptual constancy in which there is a tendency to perceive an object as the same shape no matter from what angle it is viewed
shape constancy
expectations that create a tendency to interpret sensory information in a particular way
perceptual sets
a misperception of physical reality often due to the misapplication of perceptual principles
perceptual illusion
the illusory movement of a stationary object caused by the movement of another nearby object
induced movement
the illusion of movement produced by a rapid pattern of stimulation on different parts of the retina
stroboscopic movement
a perceptual illusion in which the moon appears larger when near the horizon thatn when high in the sky
moon illusion
the ability to perceive events without using normal sensory receptors
extrasensory perception (ESP)
the field that studies ESP and other paranormal phenomena
a situation where people experience some change or improvement from an empty, e, or ineffectual treatment
placebo effect
a situation where people experience some change or improvement from an empty, fake, or ineffectual treatment
placebo effect
stimulation just below the absolute threshold for conoscious awareness
subliminal stimulation
a perceptual illusion in which the perceived lengths of horizonotal lines are influenced by their being placed between vertical converging lines that serve as distance cues
ponzo illusion
a perceptual illusion in which the perceived length of a line is influenced by placing inward or outward facing wings on the ends of lines
Mueller-Lyer illusion

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