Sensation, Perception, and Consciousness Assignment

  1. What is sensation?

    The detection of physical energy by our sensory organs, which is then relayed to the brain

What organs are associated with which senses?

– Light waves (eyes)
– Sound waves (ears)
– Pressure (skin)
– Chemicals (tongue)
– Air born chemicals (nose)
3What is perception?
The process of attending to, organizing, and interpreting the raw sensory input from the sensory organs, how psychology starts to play in
4How do we make sense of the world?
– Bottom-up processing: taking sensory information and then assembling and integrating it (what are you seeing?)- Top-down processing: using models, ideas, and expectations/schemas, to interpret sensory information (is that something you have seen before?)
5How do the sensory organs communicate to the brain?
– Reception: the stimulation of sensory receptor cells by energy (sound, light, heat, etc.)
– Transduction: transforming this cell stimulation into neural impulses
– Transmission: delivering this neural information to the brain to be processed
6What is absolute threshold?
The minimum level of stimulus intensity needed to detect a stimulus half the time
7What is subliminal?
Below our threshold for being able to consciously detect a stimulus, but still registered by the sensory organ
8What is difference threshold?
Refers to the minimum difference for a person to be able to detect the difference half the time
9What is Weber’s law?
For two stimuli to be perceived as different they must differ by a constant minimum percentage (proportion) and not a constant amount
♣ Light = 8%
♣ Weight = 2%
♣ Tone = 3%
♣ Pitch = 0.3%
10What is the signal detection theory?
Aims to explain whether or not we detect a stimulus, particularly with background noise
– Suggests that detection depends on psychological factors such as alertness, expectations, motivation, as well as sensory experience (not just receptors)
– Thus, detection is impacted by both sensation (bottom up) and perception (top-down)
11What is Gestalt psychology?
Tries to understand the laws of our ability to acquire and maintain meaningful perceptions in an apparently chaotic world

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