Chapter 5: Sensing and Perceiving

Learning Objectives

By the end of this chapter you should be able to:

  • Review and summarize the capacities and limitations of human sensation.
  • Explain the difference between sensation and perception and describe how psychologists measure sensory and difference thresholds.
  • Identify the key structures of the eye and the role they play in vision.
  • Summarize how the eye and the visual cortex work together to sense and perceive the visual stimuli in the environment, including processing colours, shape, depth and motion.
  • Draw a picture of the ear, label its key structures and functions, and describe the role they play in hearing.
  • Describe the process of transduction in hearing.
  • Summarize how the senses of taste and olfaction transduce stimuli into perceptions.
  • Describe the process of transduction in the senses of touch and proprioception.
  • Outline the gate control theory of pain. Explain why pain matters and how it may be controlled.
  • Describe how sensation and perception work together through sensory interaction, selective attention, sensory adaptation and perceptual constancy.
  • Give examples of how our expectations may influence our perception, resulting in illusions and potentially inaccurate judgments.

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