Glossary of Psychology Ch. 6

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process in which the sense organs’ receptor cells are stimulated and relay initial information to the brain for further processing.
process by which an organism selects and interprets sensory input so that it acquires meaning
subfield of psychology that focuses on the relationship between physical stimuli and people’s conscious experience of them.
a threshold is the point at which a stimulus becomes noticeable; it is the value of a sensory event (such as the wattage of a light or the volume of a radio) at which the environment is perceived as different.
Absolute Threshold
the statistically determined (avg.) minimum level of stimulation necessary to activate a given sensory system 50% of time

50% can see it
difference threshold
the amount of change necessary for an observer to report 50% of the time that a value of a stimulus (ex. A sound) has changed (louder/softer) or is different from another value (chirping of cricket rather than of a bird).
2 ways to test sensory perception thresholds
method of limits (ascending or descending)
method of constant stimuli- varies in intensity random order Y or N if detected
selective attention
the purposeful focusing of conscious awareness on a specific stimulus or event in the environment to the (relative) exclusion of other stimuli or events
electromagnetic radiation
the entire spectrum of waves initiated by the movement of charged particles

gamma rays, x-rays, ultraviolet rays, visible light, infrared rays, radar, radio waves, microwaves, and AC currents.
a multilayered network of neurons that line the back of the eyeball and generate signals in response to light.

captures the image
the light-sensitive cells in the retina—the rods and the cones.
primarily responsible for vision at low levels of illumination (dark)

not especially responsive to either fine details or variations in wavelength (color).
primarily resp. for vision in bright light

scotopic vision
very low light, relies on rods
receptive fields
areas of the retina that, when stimulated, produce a change in the firing of cells in the visual system
color depends on
3 dimensions
3 dimensions
1)hue- wavelenght
2)saturation- homogenity
3) brightness- intensity
Monocular depth cues 4
1) Interposititon (superposition)
2) Relative Size
3) Texture Gradient
4) Atmospheric Perscpective

motion parralax and kinetic depth effect
law of pragnanz
if objects can be grouped together, they will be
Laws of Perceptual Organization
common fate principle

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