chapter 4.1 (done).docx

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Chapter 4: Sensation, Attention, & Perception Section 4.1: Sensation Learning Outcomes: After reading this section you should be able to: Define sensation and transduction, and outline what happens in the sensory organs during transduction Distinguish between absolute threshold and difference threshold Identify four ways by which the senses reduce the amount of information sent to the brain What questions do you have about this section that need to be addressed? Making Connections: In Chapter 3 (Human Development) we noted that developmental psychology is like an approach to studying questions related to the areas that make up psychological science (e.g., memory, health psychology, psychopathology, social psychology). In this chapter (and the ones that will follow), we begin to address those major areas of psychology. Specifically, in this chapter we focus on three interconnected processes - sensation, attention, and perception - that are critical to understanding how we take in and interpret information from the world around us. In this section more specifically, we look at sensation (the work of the senses, or sensory organs - eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and skin), which is the first step by which we gather information from the environment. Consult the concept map for Chapter 4 to get a sense of how the material from Section 4.1 fits together with the material in Sections 4.2-4.6. Notes: If you take a look at the learning outcomes and the Big Picture diagram for this section, you'll see that we tackle three main issues (see the dark blue boxes in the Big Picture diagram). The first is transduction , the sensory organs' major job, the second how we measure sensations (the field of psychophysics ), and the third concerns the four selection processes (that is, the four ways that the large volume of sensory material from the environment is 'whittled down' to a manageable level; see the light blue boxes to learn what those four processes are). Transduction: Let's start with the process of sensation, which depends on the sensory organs. The process that they carry out is called transduction. Describe what that term means, and then explain why that process is necessary. Transduction is the sense organs' primary job. The sensory organs, our eyes, ears, tongue, nose and skin, act as biological transducers, devices that convert one kind of energy to another. Through the process of sensation, the eyes convert light energy, eyes translate mechanical energy from sounds, and the nose and tongue translate chemical energy from odors and foods. Information arriving at the brain from the sense organs create sensory impressions. This process is necessary as the world comes to us as many different forms of energy, and each one needs to be converted into electrical energy so that Do you have feedback about how these guided notes are working for you? Contact the author at [email protected]
Chapter 4: Sensation, Attention, & Perception Section 4.1: Sensation the brain can understand it. Psychophysics: Begin by providing a brief definition of psychophysics. Psychophysics: study of how the mind interprets the physical properties of stimuli. In order for sensation to occur, the sensory organs need to be able to detect the environmental stimuli in the first place, so that they can be sent to the brain for interpretation. What is the term that's relevant to this type of detection? Provide a definition for this term. Absolute threshold for any sensory input is formally defined as the minimum amount of physical energy that can be detected 50% of the time. This threshold can vary among individuals and species, determining whether or not a particular stimulus, like sound or light, is perceptible. In addition, sensation relies on people's ability to distinguish between levels of a particular stimuli (for example, being able to decide that two red squares are - or are not - exactly the same color). What is the term that's relevant to this type of detection? Provide a definition for this term. Difference threshold. The term relevant to distinguishing between levels of a particular stimulus is "difference threshold." It is defined as the minimum amount of change in a stimulus that can be detected 50 percent of the time. This concept is critical for understanding how noticeable a change in a stimulus is, like distinguishing between shades of color or differences in sound pitch. Note that the two terms above are variables (see Section 1.6); that is, they may vary (or differ) across people, across time, or in different situations. Selection: Because there's far too much information in the environment for us to take in, humans have evolved in ways that allow us to pare that information back to a manageable level. Use the table to name and describe (in your own words) four ways that we avoid sensory overload: Way to reduce overload: Description of how it works to reduce overload: Do you have feedback about how these guided notes are working for you? Contact the author at [email protected]
Chapter 4: Sensation, Attention, & Perception Section 4.1: Sensation Lack of Specific Transducers The reading talks about how our senses pick up certain types of information from the world around us, like light for our eyes and sound for our ears, but not everything. This helps to keep us from getting overwhelmed with too much information. For example, unlike sharks that can sense electric fields from living things, we humans can't do that because we don't have the special organs or sensors needed for it. This way, by only picking up certain types of information, our senses help us manage and not get drowned in the tons of stuff happening around us, making it easier for us to focus on what's important. Restricted Range of Transduces The reading explains that our sense receptors only pick up a specific range of their target energy, which helps in reducing overload. For instance, our eyes can only see a small part of the entire electromagnetic spectrum, which we call the visible spectrum. Other creatures like honeybees and bats can pick up different parts of the spectrum or hear high-pitched sounds that we can't, which helps them in their environments but could be overwhelming for us if we could sense them all. By having this selective sensing, we are able to manage the amount of information we receive from our surroundings, making it easier for us to process and react to important stimuli without getting overwhelmed by too much information. This way, we have a balanced sensory experience that's tailored to our needs and capacities, keeping the overload of information at bay. Sensory Adaptation Sensory adaptation is like your senses getting used to stuff so you don't get overwhelmed. Imagine walking into a house that smells strongly of food. At first, the smell hits you hard, but people who've been in the house for a while might not notice it anymore because their senses have adapted to the smell. This happens because, over time, the sensors in our nose (or other parts of our body) send fewer signals to the brain about constant stuff, so we stop noticing the ongoing smell or the pressure of a wristwatch on our wrist. Do you have feedback about how these guided notes are working for you? Contact the author at [email protected]
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