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Sensation and Perception. Sensation: your window to the world Perception: interpreting what comes in your window. . Transduction. Transforming signals into neural impulses. Information goes from the senses to the thalamus , then to the various areas in the brain.

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Sensation and Perception

Sensation: your window to the world

Perception: interpreting what comes in your window.

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  • Transforming signals into neural impulses.

  • Information goes from the senses to the thalamus , then to the various areas in the brain.

Remember Ethan in Sky High. He changes his body to slime. Solid form to liquid form. Change from one form of energy to another. Click the picture to watch power placement.

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Sensory Adaptation

  • Decreased responsiveness to stimuli due to constant stimulation.

Do you feel your underwear all day?

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Cocktail-party phenomenon

  • The cocktail party effect describes the ability to focus one's listening attention on a single talker among a mixture of conversations and background noises, ignoring other conversations.

  • Form of selective attention.

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Energy v. Chemical senses

Energy Senses

Chemical Senses

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  • Our most dominating sense.

  • Visual Capture

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Phase One: Gathering Light

  • The height of a wave gives us it’s intensity (brightness).

  • The length of the wave gives us it’s hue (color).


  • The longer the wave the more red.

  • The shorter the wavelength the more violet.

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Transduction Continued

  • Order is Rods/Cones to Bipolar to Ganglion to Optic Nerve.

  • Sends info to thalamus- area called lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN).

  • Then sent to cerebral cortexes.

  • Where the optic nerves cross is called the optic chiasm.

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Phase Four: In the Brain

  • Goes to the Visual Cortex located in the Occipital Lobe of the Cerebral Cortex.

  • Feature Detectors.

  • Parallel Processing

We have specific cells that see the lines, motion, curves and other features of this turkey. These cells are called feature detectors.

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Color Vision

Two Major Theories

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Trichromatic Theory

Three types of cones:

  • Red

  • Blue

  • Green

  • These three types of cones can make millions of combinations of colors.

  • Does not explain afterimages or color blindness well.

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Opponent-Process theory

The sensory receptors come in pairs.

  • Red/Green

  • Yellow/Blue

  • Black/White

  • If one color is stimulated, the other is inhibited.

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Our auditory sense

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We hear sound WAVES

  • The height of the wave gives us the amplitude of the sound.

  • The frequency of the wave gives us the pitch if the sound.

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Transduction in the ear

  • Sound waves hit the eardrum then anvil then hammer then stirrup then oval window.

  • Everything is just vibrating.

  • Then the cochlea vibrates.

  • The cochlea is lined with mucus called basilar membrane.

  • In basilar membrane there are hair cells.

  • When hair cells vibrate they turn vibrations into neural impulses which are called organ of Corti.

  • Sent then to thalamus up auditory nerve.

It is all about the vibrations!!!

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Pitch Theories

Place Theory and Frequency Theory

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Place Theory

  • Different hairs vibrate in the cochlea when they different pitches.

  • So some hairs vibrate when they hear high and other vibrate when they hear low pitches.

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Frequency Theory

  • All the hairs vibrate but at different speeds.

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Conduction Deafness

Nerve (sensorineural) Deafness

The hair cells in the cochlea get damaged.

Loud noises can cause this type of deafness.

NO WAY to replace the hairs.

Cochlea implant is possible.

  • Something goes wrong with the sound and the vibration on the way to the cochlea.

  • You can replace the bones or get a hearing aid to help.

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  • Receptors located in our skin.

  • Gate Control Theory of Pain

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  • We have bumps on our tongue called papillae.

  • Taste buds are located on the papillae (they are actually all over the mouth).

  • Sweet, salty, sour and bitter.

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Vestibular Sense

  • Tells us where our body is oriented in space.

  • Our sense of balance.

  • Located in our semicircular canals in our ears.

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Kinesthetic Sense

  • Tells us where our body parts are.

  • Receptors located in our muscles and joints.

Without the kinesthetic sense you could touch the button to make copies of your buttocks.