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Laura Snodgrass, Ph.D.
Sensation & Perception Sensation & Perception
Statistics Statistics
Experimental Experimental
Cognitive Cognitive


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Sensation and Perception
Study Guide for Exam 1

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Study Guide for Exam 1

  1. Compare the six different theoretical approaches described in chapter one.
  2. Define the following terms: absolute threshold, difference threshold, jnd, psychophysics, subliminal perception, magnitude estimation.

  3. What is the relationship between sensitivity and thresholds?

  4. Discuss signal detection theory. Why is it such a big improvement over classical psychophysics? What information is in the outcome matrix? What is plotted on an ROC curve?

  5. Describe d' and Beta, and discuss the factors that influence them.

  6. Compare Weber's. Fechner's and Steven's Laws. What do they tell us about perception?

  7. What are the five characteristics of perception?

  8. Define the following terms: transduction, retinotopic mapping, all-or-none principle, synapse, Doctorine of Specific Nerve Energies, focal system, ambient system, blindsight,

  9. What is the receptive field? How do we measure them and what phenomena can receptive fields explain?

  10. Name and explain the function of having two ascending visual pathways.

  11. Describe Hubel and Weisel's heirarchy of cortical cells.

  12. What happens to visual information in the temporal and parietal lobes?

  13. Discuss lateral inhibition and Mach bands. What is the function of this phenomenon?

  14. What factors cause us to get an ogive rather than a step-function in classical psychophysics?

  15. For each sensory system know: the peripheral end organ, the receptor, method of transduction, and primary projection area.

  16. What is the important of spontaneous activity in sensory coding? How do excitation and inhibition function in sensory coding?

  17. Explain and be able to give examples of the three basic efficiency mechanisms in sensory coding.

  18. How are magnitude and quality encoded in the nervous system?

  19. Why do they grey spots in the Hermann Grid disappear when you look directly at them?

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