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Intro. to Psych. Outline 04

Sensation and Perception

I. Sensation – define/explain what it is.

A. Principles of Sensation

1. Transduction or translation – creating a neural code

Sensory receptors

2. Thresholds

Absolute threshold

Difference threshold

3. Sensory Adaptation

B. Illustration of Sensation: The Process of Vision

*Using the schematic just below, describe each stage of the process of vision, starting with a visual stimulus that is captured by receptor cells in the retina – the rods and cones – to its destination in the brain. Explain what the receptor cells do, what the optic nerve does, and what happens in the primary area of the occipital cortex

Stimulus à Receptors à Sensory neurons à Brain

Rods & ConesOptic nerve Primary occipital area:

Feature detectors

2. *Next, describe what happens in the association pathways shown below, wherein sensation becomes perception:

“WHAT” pathway: occipital à temporal

“WHERE” pathway: occipital à parietal

II. Perception define/ explain what it is.

A. Perceptual Organization (P.O.) Define/ explain what it is

1. Form perception: The Gestalt Laws of P.O

Explain each of the following Gestalt Laws/ Principle of PO:






2. Depth perceptiondefine/ explain what it is.

Binocular cueswhat are they?

Explain binocular disparity

Monocular cues – what are they?

Explain motion parallax

3. Perceptual constancy – define/ explain what it is, e.g., constancy of an object’s size and shape.

B. Perceptual Interpretation (P.I.): define/ explain what it is.

1. Gibson’s theory of “direct perception” – define/ explain it.

– Explain the “visual cliff” phenomenon

2. Psychological influences on P.I.

a. Context – explain how it influences perception

b. Expectations or schemas – explain what they are. Describe an

example of how they are involved in perception.

b. Motivations – given an example of how our motivations can

influence P.I.

The food deprivation experiment. Describe what happened in

this classic experiment in terms of:

what was manipulated (independent variables),

what was measured (dependent variable)

what the results were

what the results showed or illustrated

C. “Bottom-up” vs. “Top-down” Perceptual Processing

1. Bottom-up processing – define/ explain what it is.

2. Top-down processing – define/ explain what it is.

You can use this example:


3. In perception, bottom-up and top-down processing are believed to occursimultaneously. Explain what that means.

D. Cultural/Environmental Influences on Perception

The Muller-Lyer Illusion – explain how it demonstrates the influence of culture on perception based on how people of different cultures either experience or don’t experience this illusion.

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