PGS 101 Chapter 3

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  1. Absolute Threshold
    The magnitude of the stimulus needed, on average, for an observer todetect it half the time it is present
  2. Attention
    The act of focusing on particular information, which allows it to be processed morefully than what is not attended to.
  3. Bottom-up Processing
    Processing that is triggered by physical energy striking receptorcells
  4. Cocktail Party Phenomenon
    The effect of not being aware of other people’s conversationsuntil your name is mentioned and then suddenly hearing it
  5. Cones
    Cone-shape retinal receptor cells that respond most strongly to one of three wavelengthsof light; the combined signals form cones that are most sensitive to differentwavelengths play a key role in producing color vision
  6. Cornea
    The transparent covering over the eye, which (along with the lens) focuses lightonto the back of the eye
  7. Dichotic Listening
    A procedure in which participants hear different stimuli presentedseparately to each of the two ears (through headphones) and are instructed tolisten only to sounds presented to one ear
  8. Extrasensory Perception (ESP)
    The ability to perceive and know things without using theordinary senses
  9. Figure
    A set of perceptual characteristics (such as shape, color, texture) that typically correspond to an object
  10. Fovea
    The small, central region of the retina with the highest density of cones and the highest resolution
  11. Frequency
    The number of light waves or sound waves that move past a given point per second
  12. Gate Control (of pain)
    The mechanism that allows top-down processing to inhibit interneurons that send pain signals to the brain
  13. Ground
    Inperception, the background
  14. Hair Cells
    The receptor cells with stiff hairs along the basilar membrane of the inner ear; when hairs are moved, they produce neural signals that are sent to the brain and underlie auditory sensation
  15. Iris
    The circular muscle that adjusts the size of the pupil
  16. Just-noticeable Difference (JND)
    The size of the difference in a stimulus characteristic neededfor a person to detect a difference between two stimuli or a change in a singlestimulus
  17. Kinesthetic Sense
    The sense that registers the movement and position of the limbs
  18. Nerve Deafness
    A type of deafness that typically occurs when the hair cells aredestroyed by loud sound
  19. Olfaction (in Heading of Taste and smell)
    sense of smell
  20. Perception
    The result of neural processes that organize (such as by specifying a particularshape) and interpret (such as by identifying the object) information conveyed by sensory signals
  21. Perceptual Set
    The sum of assumptions and beliefs that lead a person to expect to perceive certain objects or characteristics in particular contexts
  22. Pitch
    How high or low a sound seems; higher frequencies of pressure waves produce theexperience of higher pitches
  23. Place Theory
    In hearing, the theory that different frequencies activate different places along the basilar membrane
  24. Psychophysics
    The field in which researchers study the relations between physical events and thecorresponding experience of those events
  25. Pupil
    The opening of the eye through which light passes
  26. Retina
    A sheet of tissue at the back of the eye containing cells that convert light to neural signals
  27. Sensation
    The result of neural responses that occur after physical energy stimulates a receptor cell (such as those at the back of the eye, in the ear, on the skin) but before the stimulus is organized and interpreted by the brain
  28. Sensitivity
    In signal detection theory, corresponds to the amount of information required to detect a signal, with greater sensitivity indicating that less information is required
  29. Threshold
    The point at which stimuli activate receptor cells strongly enough to be sensed
  30. Top-down Processing
    Processing that is guided by knowledge, expectation or belief
  31. Transduction
    The process whereby physical energy is converted by a sensory receptor cell into neural signals
  32. Wavelength
    The distance between the arrival of peaks of a light wave or sound wave; shorterwavelengths correspond to higher frequencies
  33. Weber’s Law
    The rule that the same percentage of a magnitude must be present in orderto detect a difference between two stimuli or a change in a single stimulus
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PGS 101 Chapter 3
2011-09-12 15:50:35

Chapter 3 Definitions
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