Site MapHelpFeedback

(See related pages)

absolute threshold  The minimum amount of stimulus energy that people can detect. p. 180
apparent movement  The perception that a stationary object is moving. p. 201
auditory nerve  Carries neural impulses to the brain's auditory area. p. 209
binding  The bringing together and integration of what is processed through different pathways or cells. p. 193
binocular cues  Depth cues that are based on the combination of the images on the left and right eyes and on the way the two eyes work together. p. 198
bottom-up processing  Processing that begins with sensory receptors registering environmental information and sending it to the brain for integration and cognitive processing. p. 177
cones  The receptors in the retina that process information about color. p. 190
depth perception  The ability to perceive objects three dimensionally. p. 198
difference threshold  Also called just noticeable difference, this concept refers to the smallest difference in stimulation required to discriminate one stimulus from another 50 percent of the time. p. 182
feature detectors  Neurons in the brain's visual system that respond to particular lines or other features of a stimulus. p. 192
figure-ground relationship  People organize the perceptual field into stimuli that stand out (figure) and those that are left over (background). p. 197
frequency theory  Perception of a sound's frequency is due to how often the auditory nerve fires. p. 207
gate-control theory of pain  The spinal column contains a neural gate that can be open (allowing the perception of pain) or closed (blocking the perception of pain). p. 214
gestalt psychology  People naturally organize their perceptions according to certain patterns. p. 197
inner ear  Consists of oval window, cochlea, and basilar membrane. p. 206
kinesthetic senses  Provide information about movement, posture, and orientation. p. 219
middle ear  Consists of eardrum, hammer, anvil, and stirrup. p. 206
monocular cues  Depth cues that can be extracted from the images in either eye. p. 198
noise  Irrelevant and competing stimuli. p. 000
olfactory epithelium  Located in the roof of the nasal cavity, a sheet of receptor cells for smell. p. 218
opponent-process theory  Cells in the visual system respond to red-green and blue-yellow colors; a given cell might be excited by red and inhibited by green, whereas another might be excited by yellow and inhibited by blue. p. 195
outer ear  Consists of the pinna and the external auditory canal. p. 206
pain  The sensation that warns us that damage to our bodies is occurring. p. 215
papillae  Bumps on the tongue that contain taste buds, the receptors for taste. p. 217
parallel processing  The simultaneous distribution of information across different neural pathways. p. 323
perception  The brain's process of organizing and interpreting sensory information to give it meaning. p. 177
perceptual constancy  Recognition that objects are constant and unchanging even through sensory input about them is changing. p. 201
perceptual set  A predisposition or readiness to perceive something in a particular way. p. 185
place theory  A theory of hearing that states that each frequency produces vibrations at a particular spot on the basilar membrane. p. 207
psychophysics  The field that studies links between the physical properties of stimuli and a person's experience of them. p. 180
retina  The light-sensitive surface in the back of the eye that houses light receptors called rods and cones. p. 189
rods  The receptors in the retina that are sensitive to light but are not very useful in color vision. p. 190
selective attention  Focusing on a specific aspect of experience while ignoring others. p. 184
semicircular canals  Located in the inner ear; contain the sensory receptors that detect head motion. p. 219
sensation  The process of receiving stimulus energies from the environment. p. 176
sensory adaptation  A change in the responsiveness of the sensory system based on the average level of surrounding stimulation. p. 186
sensory receptors  Specialized cells that detect and transmit stimulus information to sensory neurons and the brain. p. 178
signal detection theory  Focuses on decision making about stimuli in the presence of uncertainty; detection depends on a variety of factors besides the physical intensity of the stimulus and the sensory abilities of the observer. p. 183
subliminal perception  The ability to detect information below the level of conscious awareness. p. 181
thermoreceptors  Located under the skin, they respond to increases and decreases in temperature. p. 214
top-down processing  Processing of perceptual information that starts out with cognitive processing at the higher levels of the brain. p. 177
transduction  The process of transforming physical energy into electrochemical energy. p. 177
trichromatic theory  Color perception is based on the existence of three types of receptors that are maximally sensitive to different, but overlapping, ranges of wavelengths. p. 194
vestibular sense  Provides information about balance and movement. p. 219
visual illusion  A discrepancy or incongruency between reality and the perceptual representation of it. p. 202
volley principle  A cluster of nerve cells can fire neural impulses in rapid succession, producing a volley of impulses. p. 209
Weber's law  The principle that two stimuli must differ by a constant minimum percentage (rather than a constant amount) to be perceived as different. p. 183

Santrock UpdatedOnline Learning Center

Home > Chapter 5 > Glossary