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Psychology Vocabulary (Sensation & Perception)

A list of vocabulary for Chapter 4: Sensation & Perception in "Psychology and You", third edition.


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Tine hair-like projections that receive odor molecules. Some act as receptors in the nose.
White Light
Light as it originates from the sun or a bulb before it is broken into different frequencies.
A colored circular muscle that opens and closes, forming larger and smaller circles to control the amount of light getting into the eye.
Binocular Disparity
The difference between the image provided by each eye.
A piece of skin stretched over the entrance of the ear; vibrates to sound.
Olfactory Bulb
Units that receive odor molecules and communicate their nature to the brain.
A visual receptor that responds during daylight; receives color.
Space Constancy
The ability of receiving information from the environment.
Müller-Lyer Illusion
Two pictures in which one line seems longer than the other but really isn't.
The process of assembling and organizing sensory information to make it meaningful.
The clear outer covering of the eye behind which is a fluid.
The back of the eye, which contains millions of receptors for light.
The complexity of a sound.
Contoneus Receptors
The nerve receptors in the skin that respond to pressure, temperature, or pain.
The part of the eye, which contains millions of receptors for light.
The opening in the eye.
A visual receptor that "sees" in black and white.
How loud a sound is.
Depth Perception
The ability to see objects in space.
The process of filling in the missing details of what is viewed.
The ability to ignore certain stimuli while focusing on those that are important.
Odor chemicals that communicate a message.
An organized whole, shape, or form.
Taste Receptors
Chemical receptors on the tongue that decode molecules of food or drink to identify them.
How high or low a sound is.
The sense of hearing.
A perceptual cue in which we group like things together.
Size Constancy
The ability to keep objects in the environment steady.
A snail-shaped part of the ear, filled with fluid and small hairs that vibrate to incoming sound.
Visual Cliff
A large table with Plexiglas, used to demonstrate depth perception in small children.
Brightness Constancy
By taking an average, the human visual network keeps brightness constant as an object moved to various environments.
A measure of how loud a sound is.
Texture Gradient
The amount of detail we can perceive in objects we are viewing.
Reversible Figure
An illiusion in which the same object is seen as two alternate figures——first one, then the other.
The sense of smell.
Receptor cells for hearing and sense of smell; found in the cochlea and the nasal cavity.
An inaccurate perception.
Blind Spot
The portion of the retina through which the optic nerve exits and where there are no receptors for light waves.
The firing of the cones not used after viewing something steadily in order to bring the visual system back in balance.
Color Blindness
Inability to perceive certain colors, such as red and green.
Subliminal Perception
Stimulation presented below the level of consciousness.
The process of receiving information from the environment.
Auditory Nerve
Bundle of nerves carrying sound to the brain.
Color Constancy
The ability to perceive an object as the same color regardless of the environment.

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