chapter 6. Definitions. Sensation The detection of physical energy emitted or reflected by physical objects Occurs when energy in the external environment or the body stimulates receptors in the sense organs Perception
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Stimuli (energy) = light waves
3 Psychological Aspects of Vision:
Related to the wavelength of light
Related to the amount of light emitted from or reflected by an object – amplitude of wavelength
Related to the complexity of light waves - # of different wavelengths
Adapted from Univ. Virginia, Dept of Astronomy
You have a hard time locating your red car at night, in the poorly lit mall parking lot. Why?
1. Your rods are less sensitive to color in dim light.
2. Your cones, which detect color, do not function well in dim light.
3. Your ganglion cells receive insufficient overall stimulation to
4. Your rods, which detect color, do not function well in dim light.
Visual processing is done in the brain
The visual image that was reflected onto our retina is broken up into simple and complex features that the brain perceives, processes and interprets
Simple features - light and dark spots
- Ganglion cells and neurons in Thalamus
Complex features – Lines with specific orientations, bulls-eyes, spirals, faces)
- Feature-detector cells in the Visual cortex
- Sensitive to specific features in the environment
Visual Cortex Neurons:Feature-Detector CellsRespond to lines oriented in a particular direction and in a particular space in the visual field
Hubel & Wiesel Experiment
The visual system treats pairs of colors as opposing or antagonistic
If opponent-process cells are inhibited by a color then removal of the color results in a burst of activity
The detection of physical energy emitted or reflected by physical objects
The process by which the brain organizes and interprets sensory information
Modality, Intensity, Duration, Location
Stimulus (energy) = wave of pressure caused by vibrations
3 Psychological Aspects of Sound:
Frequency of a pressure wave
Measured in hertz (Hz)
Intensity (amplitude) of a pressure wave
Measured in decibels (dB)
Complexity of a pressure wave
White noise – all frequencies of the sound spectrum
Five basic tastes
Salty – keeps electrolytes (salt-balance) in check
Sour – detects acidity = rancid food
Bitter – allows sensing of natural poisons
Sweet – energy rich nutrients, presence of sugars
Umami – taste of amino acids (glutamate) = protein rich foods
Why do people have different tastes?
Genetics - supertasters
Adapted from Sabes Lab - UCSF
Zebra finches learn their adult song from a tutor during a critical periodCritical period
An important period of time during development when the brain is capable of acquiring a specific ability