Unit 4 AP Psych Vocab.txt

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Unit 4 AP Psych Vocab.txt
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  1. Absolute Threshold
    The minimum stimulation needed to detect a particular stimulus 50 percent of the time
  2. Accommodation
    (1) The process by which the eye's lens changes shape to focus near or far objects on the retina. (2) Adapting our current understandings to incorporate new information.
  3. Audition
    The sense or act of hearing.
  4. Binocular Cues
    Depth cues, such as retinal disparity, that depend on the use of two eyes.
  5. Blind Spot
    the point at which the optic nerve leaves the eye, creating a spot where there are no receptor cells, a spot in which is not visible.
  6. Bottom-Up Processing
    Analysis that begins with the sensory receptors and works up to the brain's integration of sensory information.
  7. Change Blindness
    Failing to notice changes in the environment.
  8. Cochlea
    A coiled, bony, fluid-filled tube in the inner ear through which sound waves trigger nerve impulses.
  9. Cochlear Implant
    A device for converting sounds into electrical signals and stimulation the auditory nerve through electrodes threaded in the cochlea.
  10. Color Constancy
    Perceiving familiar objects as having consistent color, even if changing illumination alters the wavelengths reflected by the object.
  11. Conduction Hearing Loss
    Hearing loss caused by damage to the mechanical system that conducts sound waves to the cochlea.
  12. Cones
    Retinal receptor cells that are concentrated near the center of the retina and that function in well-lit conditions. The cones detect fine detail and give rise to color sensations.
  13. Depth Perception
    The ability to see objects in three dimensions although the images that strike the retina are two-dimensional; allows us to judge distance.
  14. Difference Threshold
    The minimum difference between two stimuli required for detection 50 percent of the time.
  15. Extrasensory Perception
    The controversial claim that perception can occur apart from sensory input.
  16. Feature Detectors
    nerve cells in the brain that respond to specific features of the stimulus, such as shape, angle, or movement
  17. Parallel Processing
    the processing of many aspects of a problem simultaneously; the brains natural mode of information processing for many functions, including vision
  18. Young-Helmholtz Trichromatic (three-color) Theory
    the theory that the retina contains 3 different color receptors - one most sensitive to red, one to green & one to blue - which, when stimulated in combination, can produce the perception of any color
  19. Opponent-Process Theory
    the theory that opposing retinal processes (white-black, red-green) enable color vision. ex: some cells are stimulated by green and inhibited by red, or vice versa
  20. Frequency
    the number of complete wavelengths that pass a point in a given time (for example, per second)
  21. Pitch
    a tone's experienced highness or lowness; depends on frequency
  22. Middle Ear
    the chamber between the eardrum & cochlea containing 3 tiny bones (hammer, anvil & stirrup) that concentrate the vibrations of the eardrum on the cochlea's oval window
  23. Inner Ear
    the innermost part of the ear, containing the cochlea, semicircular canals, & vestibular sacs
  24. Place Theory
    in hearing, the theory that links the pitch we hear with the place where the cochlea's membrane is stimulated
  25. Frequency Theory
    in hearing, the theory that the rate of nerve impulses traveling up the auditory nerve matches that frequency of a tone, thus enabling us to sense its pitch
  26. Sensorineural Hearing Loss
    hearing loss caused by damage to the cochlea's receptor cells or to the auditory nerves; also called nerve deafness
  27. Kinesthesis
    the system for sensing the position & movement of individual body parts
  28. Vestibular Sense
    the sense of body movement & position, including the sense of balance
  29. Gate-Control Theory
    the theory that the spinal cord contains a neurological "gate" that blocks pain signals or allows them to pass on to the brain. The "gate" is opened by the activity of pain signals traveling up small nerve fibers & is closed by activity in larger fibers or by information coming from the brain
  30. Sensory Interaction
    the principle that one sense may influence another
  31. Gestalt
    an organized whole
  32. Figure-Ground
    the organization of the visual field into objects (figures) that stand out from their surroundings (ground)
  33. Grouping
    the perceptual tendency to organize stimuli into coherent groups
  34. Visual Cliff
    a laboratory device for testing depth perception in infants & young animals
  35. Retinal Disparity
    a binocular cue for perceiving depth: by comparing images from the retinas in the 2 eyes, the brain computes distance; the greater the disparity, the closer the object
  36. Monocular Cues
    depth cues (such as interposition & linear perspective) available to either eye alone
  37. Phi Phenomenon
    an illusion of movement created when two or more adjacent lights blink on & off in quick succession
  38. Perceptual Constancy
    perceiving objects as unchanging, even as illumination & retinal images change
  39. Perceptual Adaptation
    in vision, the ability to adjust to an artificially displaced or even inverted visual field
  40. Perceptual Set
    a mental predisposition to perceive one thing & not another
  41. Parapsychology
    the study of paranormal phenomena, including ESP ^ & psychokinesis
  42. Sensation
    the process by which our sensory receptors & nervous system receive & represent stimulus energies from our environment
  43. Perception
    the process of organizing & interpreting sensory information, enabling us to recognize meaningful objects & events
  44. Top-Down Processing
    information processing guided by higher-level mental processes, as when we construct perceptions drawing on our experience & expectations
  45. Selective Attention
    the focusing of conscious awareness on a particular stimulus
  46. Inattentional Blindness
    failing to see visible objects when our attention is directed elsewhere
  47. Psychophysics
    the study of relationships between the physical characteristics of stimuli, such as their intensity, & our psychological experience of them
  48. Signal Detection Theory
    a theory predicting how & when we detect the presence of a faint stimulus (signal) amid background stimulation (noise). Assumes there is no single absolute threshold & that detection depends partly on a persons experience, expectation, motivation & alertness
  49. Subliminal
    below one's absolute threshold for conscious awareness
  50. Priming
    the activation, often unconsciously, of certain assosciations, thus predisposing one's perception, memory or response
  51. Weber's Law
    the principle that, to be perceived as different, 2 stimuli must differ by a constant percentage (rather than a constant amount)
  52. Sensory Adaptation
    diminished sensitivity as a consequence of constant stimulation
  53. Transduction
    conversion of one form of energy into another. ex. sensation: stimulus energies to neural impulses our brains can interpret
  54. Wavelength
    the distance from the peak of one light or sound wave to the peak of the next.
  55. Hue
    the dimension of color that is determined by the wavelength of light (color names like blue)
  56. Intensity
    the amount of energy in a light or sound wave as determined by the waves amplitude
  57. Pupil
    the adjustable opening in the center of the eye through which light enters
  58. Iris
    the ring of muscle tissue that forms the colored portion of the eye around the pupil & controls the size of the pupil opening
  59. Lens
    the transparent structure behind the pupil that changes shape to help focus images on gthe retina
  60. Retina
    the light-sensitive inner surface of the eye, containing the receptor rods & cones plus layers of neurons that begin the processing of visual information
  61. Rods
    retinal receptors that detect black, white, gray; necessary for peripheral & twilight vision, when cones don't respond
  62. Optic nerve
    the nerve that carries neural impulses from the eye to the brain
  63. Fovea
    The central focal point in the retina, around which the eye's cones cluster

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