Dr. David Schroeder's General Psyc 2013 - Psychology: Schacter, Gibert, Wegner

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synesthesia The perceptual experience of one sense that is evoked by another sense.  
sensation Simple awareness due to the stimulation of a sense organ.  
perception The organization, identification, and interpretation of a sensation in order to form a mental representation.  
transduction What takes place when many sensors in the body convert physical signals from the environment into neural signals sent to the central nervous system.  
psychophysics Methods that measure the strength of a stimulus and the observer’s sensitivity to that stimulus.  
absolute threshold The minimal intensity needed to just barely detect a stimulus.  
just noticeable difference (JND) The minimal change in a stimulus that can just barely be detected.  
signal detection theory An observation that the response to a stimulus depends both on a person’s sensitivity to the stimulus in the presence of noise and on a person’s response criterion.  
sensory adaptation Sensitivity to prolonged stimulation tends to decline over time as an organism adapts to current conditions.  
visual acuity The ability to see fine detail.  
retina Light-sensitive tissue lining the back of the eyeball.  
accommodation The process by which infants revise their schemas in light of new information.  
cones Photoreceptors that detect color, operate under normal daylight conditions, and allow us to focus on fine detail.  
rods Photoreceptors that become active only under low-light conditions for night vision.  
fovea An area of the retina where vision is the clearest and there are no rods at all.  
blind spot An area of the retina that contains neither rods nor cones and therefore has no mechanism to sense light.  
receptive field The region of the sensory surface that, when stimulated, causes a change in the firing rate of that neuron.  
trichromatic color representation The pattern of responding across the three types of cones that provides a unique code for each color.  
color-opponent system Pairs of visual neurons that work in opposition.  
area V1 The part of the occipital lobe that contains the primary visual cortex.  
visual-form agnosia The inability to recognize objects by sight.  
perceptual constancy A perceptual principle stating that even as aspects of sensory signals change, perception remains consistent.  
template A mental representation that can be directly compared to a viewed shape in the retinal image.  
monocular depth cues Aspects of a scene that yield information about depth when viewed with only one eye.  
binocular disparity The difference in the retinal images of the two eyes that provides information about depth.  
motion parallax A depth cue based on the movement of the head over time.  
apparent motion The perception of movement as a result of alternating signals appearing in rapid succession in different locations.  
loudness A sound’s intensity.  
pitch How high or low a sound is.  
timbre A listener’s experience of sound quality or resonance.  
cochlea A fluid-filled tube that is the organ of auditory transduction.  
basilar membrane A structure in the inner ear that undulates when vibrations from the ossicles reach the cochlear fluid.  
hair cells Specialized auditory receptor neurons embedded in the basilar membrane.  
area A1 A portion of the temporal lobe that contains the primary auditory cortex.  
place code The cochlea encodes different frequencies at different locations along the basilar membrane.  
temporal code The cochlea registers low frequencies via the firing rate of action potentials entering the auditory nerve.  
haptic perception The active exploration of the environment by touching and grasping objects with our hands.  
referred pain Feeling of pain when sensory information from internal and external areas converge on the same nerve cells in the spinal cord.  
gate-control theory A theory of pain perception based on the idea that signals arriving from pain receptors in the body can be stopped, or gated, by interneurons in the spinal cord via feedback from two directions.  
vestibular system The three fluid-filled semicircular canals and adjacent organs located next to the cochlea in each inner ear.  
olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs) Receptor cells that initiate the sense of smell.  
olfactory bulb A brain structure located above the nasal cavity beneath the frontal lobes.  
pheromones Biochemical odorants emitted by other members of their species that can affect an animal’s behavior or physiology.  
taste buds The organ of taste transduction.  

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