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Psychology as a natural science


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What is the nervous system made of?
living tissue composed of cells
What are the catagories of cells in the nervous system?
Glia and Neurons
What are neurons?
Cells that receive, integrate, and transmit information
What are Cells that receive, integrate, and transmit information?
Where is the cell nucleus of a neuron contained?
Contains the neucleus of a neuron
What are the branched, feelerlike structures on a neuron?
dedratic trees, indv. = dendrite
What do dendrites do?
Receive information
What is the path of information in the neuron?
dendrites, soma, axon, ( other neurons, muscles or glands)
What encases the axon
the Myelin Sheath
What is the role of the myelin sheath
encases and protects the axon
What is at the end of the axon?
The terminal buttons
What secretes the neurotransmitters?
the terminal buttons
What do neurotransmitters do?
Serve as messengers to activate neighboring neurons
Where do neuron's connect?
At the synapse
What is the purpose of Glia?
cells in the nerual system that provide support for neurons, nourish, remove waste, and provide insulation around axons
What is the ratio of Glia to Neurons
What percentage of the brain's volume does glia encompass?
What is the signal called when a neuron is stimulated?
a neural impulse
What is a neural impulse?
An electrochemical reaction
What are the ions in neural impulses?
Na+, K+, Cl-
What positive ions "rush through the cell membrane"
What is the absolute refractory period?
The min length of time after an action potential during which another action potential cannot begin
How do neurons convey the strength of a stimulus?
By firing more or less rapidly
Which is faster, thick neurons or thin neurons?
thick neurons
how fast are neural impulses?
100 meters/sec, 200 miles/hr
What separates neurons?
The synaptic cleft
What is the neuron called that sends a signal to another neuron?
Presynaptic neuron
What is the neuron called that receives a signal from another neuron?
Post synaptic neuron
What are neurotransmitters?
Chemicals that transmit information from one neuron to another
what is visual agnosia?
inability to recognize objects through sight
Stimulation of sense organs
selection, organization, and interpretation of sensory input
The study of how physical stimuli are translated into psychological experience
Who was the greatest contributer to psychophysics?
Gustav Fechner
Detectable input from the environment
the dividing point between energies that do and do not have a dectectable effect
absolute threshold
minimum stimulus intensity that an orgnanism can detect (stimulus is detected 50% of the time)
just noticible difference
What is a JND?
the smallest difference in stimulus intensity that a specific sense can detect
Weber's Law
size of a JND is a constant proportion of the sixe ot the initial stimulus
Signal-detection theory
says that dectecting a signal also involves decision making not just stimulus
all irrevelent stimuli
replaces fechner's threshold with probability
Subliminal perception
registration of sensory input without conscious awareness
Sensory adaptation
gradual decline in sensitivity to prolonged stimulation
What does amplitude show?
perception of brightness
What does wavelength show
perception of color
how varied the mix of wavelengths are
relative amount of whiteness in a color
what color is the shortest wavelength
what color is the longest wavelength
neural tissue that receives light
what is the transparent window at the front of the eye?
transparent window at the front of the eye
Where is the lens located
behind the cornea
What is the purpose of the lens?
forms an upside-down image on the retina, focuses the light
the curvature of the lens adjusts to change focus
When you focus on a near object...
the lens becomes more curved
when you focus on a far object...
the lense becomes more flat
Brocas area
production of speech
Chemical that mimics the action of a neurotransmitter
Chemical that opposes the action of a neurotransmitter
Afferent Nerve Fibers
Axons that carry information inward to the central nucleus from the periphery
Efferent Nerve Fibers
Axons that carry information outward from the central nervous system to the periphery
Cerebellum, Medulla, Pons
Reticular formation
All sensory information must pass through in order to get to cerebral cortex
Involved in regulation of basic biological needs
Learning of fear and processing of other responses
Occipital lobe
Visual processing
Parietal Lobe
Temporal Lobe
Frontal lobe
Primary motor cortex
disturbances in language production but not comprehension
Structural encoding
Shallow processing that emphasizes the physical structure of a stimulus
Phonemic encoding
emphasizes what a word sounds like
Semantic encoding
Emphasizes meaning of verbal input
Semantic Networks
nodes representing concepts joined together by pathways that link related concepts
Connectionist Networks and parallel distributed processing
highly interconnected computational networks that resemble neural networks
Misinformation effect
recall distorted by misleading post-event information
Source monitering error
memory derived from one source is attributed to another
Proactive interference
Old learning interferes with new
Retroactive interference
New learning interferes with old
Retrograde Amnesia
loss of memory for events that occured prior to amnesia
Anterograde Amnesia
Loss of memory for evens that occur after amnesia
WHere are memories consolidated
Declarative memory
Factual information
Procedural Memory
actions, skills, conditioned responses, emotional responses
Semantic memory
General knowledge that is not tied to the time it was learned
Smallest units of speech that can be distinguished perceptually
Smallest units of meaning in a languge
understanding the meaning of words and word combinations.
grammatical rules are incorrectly generalized to irregular cases where they do not apply
Nativist theories on language acqusition
children learn rules of language not specific responsees
Functional fixedness
tendency to preceive an item only in terms of its common use
Mental set
Stuck in using problem solving strategies that worked in the past
Maxi-max choices
greatest possible reward don't care what you lose
Mini-max choices
minimize max regret
Conjunction fallacy
People assume that the odds of two actions happening together are greater than the odds of only one
Alternative outcomes effect
when people's belief about whether an outcome will occur changes depending on how alternative outcomes are distributed, even though the sum is held constant
Representative heuristic
basing the estimated probability of an event on how similar it is to a typical prototype of that event
Availability heuristic
involves basing the estimated probabilty with which relative instances come to mind
Field dependance/interdependance
individuals tendency to rely primarily on external v. internal frame of reference when orienting theme
Silogistic reading
premise + premise = conclusion

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