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Psychology 101 (Midterm) - Flashcards

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Class:PSYCH 101 - INTRO TO PSYCH
Subject:Psychology
University:University of Washington - Seattle
Term:Winter 2013
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Functionalism
Early approach to psychology 
focused on the adaptive nature of mental processes 
asks the question - what is the evolutionary benefit 
looks at the whole 
Structuralism
early approach to psychology 
breaking our inner world into component pieces 
about looking at all the parts 

Introspection tool of structuralism 
about looking inside  
The 3 Good Scientific Principles 1) Manipulation of variables (casualty) 
2) Good sampling (generalization) 
3) Converging evidence (confidence) 
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Normal Curve  a symmetrical bell-shaped curve 
 normal distribution - a continuous probability distribution

Statistical Significance statement of how likely it is that an obtained result occurred by chance 
Hypothesis
 testable predictions produced by a good theory

A hypothesis is a proposed explanation for a phenomenon.

Theory explains with principles that organize observations and predict behaviors or events 


Theory is a contemplative and rational type of abstract or generalizing thinking, or the results of such thinking.
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Naturalistic Observation observing or recording the behavior of animals in the wild or another example would be recording self-seating patterns in a multiracial school lunch room 

Naturalistic observation is a research tool in which a subject is observed in its natural habitat without any manipulation by the observer.
Hindsight Bias
I knew it all along phenomena (when in reality you didn't) 

Hindsight bias, also known as the knew-it-all-along effect or creeping determinism, is the inclination to see events that have already occurred as being more predictable than they were before they took place.
Mode, Median and Mean mode = most frequent 
mean = average 
median = midpoint 
Range gap between highest and lowest scores, provides a crude estimate of the variation 
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Standard of Deviation measures how much scores deviate from the one another 
Neuron
how your body's information system is built, works like pushing over a domino, they like to negatively charged 
A neuron is an electrically excitable cell that processes and transmits information through electrical and chemical signals.

Lock and Key Mechanism neurotransmitters bind to the receptor of the receiving neuron in a key-lock mechanism 
agonists = mimic neurotransmitters 
antagonists = block neurotransmitters 
Re-Uptake
neurotransmitters in the synapse are reabsorbed into the sending neurons through the process of reuptake. this process applies brakes on the neurotransmitter action. 
Reuptake, or re-uptake, is the reabsorption of a neurotransmitter by a neurotransmitter transporter of a pre-synaptic neuron after it has performed its function of transmitting a neural impulse.
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Old Brain basic life functions - breathing, arousal and heart beat 
Limbic System
a system of neural structures at the border of the brainstem and cerebrum associated with emotions such as fear, aggression and drives for food and sex 
controls emotion, motivation, learning and memory

The limbic system is a complex set of brain structures that lies on both sides of the thalamus, right under the cerebrum.
Cerebral Cortex
controls sensation, perception, language, reasoning and spatial navigation 

The cerebral cortex is a sheet of neural tissue that is outermost to the cerebrum of the mammalian brain.
Action Potential an electrical charge travels down an axon and is generated by movement of positively charged atoms in and out of channels in the axon's membrane. 
"all or none" response = a strong stimulus can trigger more neurons to fire and fire more often but it does not effect the action potentials strength or speed. 
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Excitatory Threshold each neuron receives excitatory and inhibitory signals, when the excitatory signals minus the inhibitory signals exceed a minimum intensity (threshold = the level of stimulation required to trigger a neural response) the neuron fires an action potential. 

 inhibitory signals make the neuron less likely to fire 
Synapse In the nervous system, a synapse is a structure that permits a neuron to pass an electrical or chemical signal to another cell (neural or otherwise).

synaptic communication = through neurotransmitters (chemicals) released from sending neuron that travels across the synapse and bind to the receptor site on the other neuron 
Hemi-Spatial Neglect a more limited view 

?
TMS transcranial magnetic stimulation 
a way to create reversible virtual regions lesions 
creates virtual patients in the lab, safe if done properly 
interfering with the brains electrical signal 

Cons = difficult to localize damage precisely 
no network effects
binary manipulation 
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EEG
an amplified read out of electrical waves inside the brain (great temporal resolutions but poor spatial resolution, only surface activity, signals deeper in the brain are weaker) 

MEG = measuring the electric current in neurons that produce small magnetic fields (but they are way harder to detect though they are more precise) 
Neuro-imaging important innovation in cognitive science
collects signals from within the brain 
signals that pass through brain tissue (specifically changes in oxygen concentration) 
Computational Modeling creating a math / computer representation of a system
 makes assumption that every phenomena can be reduced to its basic components 
it simplifies, is explicit, quantifiable and it uncovers principles 

Lesion
tissue destruction (naturally or experimentally caused) 

A lesion is any abnormality in the tissue of an organism, usually caused by disease or trauma.
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PET Scan
depicts brain activity by showing each brain areas consumption of its chemical fuel (sugar glucose) 
tracks radioactive elements inserted in the blood flow 
MRI Scan
a technique that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce computer generated images of soft tissue 


Magnetic resonance imaging, nuclear magnetic resonance imaging is a medical imaging technique used in radiology to visualize internal structures of the body in detail.
fMRI Scan
a technique revealing blood flow and brain activity by comparing successful MRI scans 
Functional magnetic resonance imaging 
tracks magnetic properties of a given molecule type 
Split Brain a condition resulting from surgery that isolates the brains two hemispheres by cutting the fibers connecting them. 
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Corpus Callosum the large band of neural fibers connecting the two brain hemispheres and carries messages between them 
Neuroscience Neuroscience is the scientific study of the nervous system. 
Change Blindness
Change blindness is a psychological phenomenon that occurs when a change in a visual stimulus goes unnoticed by the observer.

a form of unintentional blindness 
Hypnosis a social interaction in which one person suggests to another that certain perceptions, feelings, thoughts, or behaviors will spontaneously occur. 
two theories = 1) divided consciousness theory - hypnosis is a special state of disassociated (divided) consciousness / split awareness 
2)  social influence theory - hypnotic subjects may simply be imaginative actors playing a social role (behaving how they think they should) 

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Correlation and Causation "Correlation does not imply causation" is a phrase used in science and statistics to emphasize that a correlation between two variables does not necessarily imply that one causes the other.

Correlation = a measure of the extent to which two factors vary together and thus of how well either factor predicts the other 

Dependent and Independent Variables independent = what you manipulate 
dependent = what you measure 
Central Tendency the way in which quantitative data tend to cluster around some value.
Variance  variance is a measure of how far a set of numbers is spread out.
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Locality Assumption the idea that one cortical region has one function
in reality many regions are involved in most functions or multiple functions - it is all highly interconnected 
Selective Attention at any one time we are being bombarded by information. information and distractions come from the external world as well from our internal world (inner voice, thoughts etc.) 
we use attention to "select" which pieces of the world will make it into our conscious awareness
attentional processes can be intentional (focusing on the road or in class) or automatic (when someone says your name - cocktail party phenomena) 
Zoning-out the default network - a switch from attending to your outside world to attending to your inside world. 
Sleep Stages 1-2 early light sleep
the brain enters a high-amplitude, slow, regular wave form called theta waves. a person who is daydreaming shows theta activity 
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Theories of Sleep 1) sleep protects - sleeping in the darkness when predators loomed about kept our ancestors out of harms way
2) sleep helps us recover - sleep helps restore and repair brain tissue 
3) sleep helps us remember - sleep restores and rebuilds our fading memories 
4) sleep may play a role in the growth process - during sleep the pituitary gland releases growth hormone. older people release less of this hormone and sleep less. 
Psychoactive Drugs A chemical substance that alters perceptions and mood (affects consciousness) 

Sensation versus Perception sensation = the process by which we detect physical energy from the environment and convert it into a neural signal 

perception = selection, organization 
Top Down versus Bottom Up Processing bottom up = analysis of stimulus begins with the sense receptors and works up to the level of brain and mind 
top down processing = information processing guided by higher level mental processes as we construct perceptions drawing on our experiences and expectation (ex. reading?) 
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Psychophysics  investigates the relationship between physical stimuli and the sensations and perceptions they affect.
Weber-Fechner law states that "just noticeable difference" varies proportionately with the intensity of stimulus (look at the ratios) 
Signal Detection the ability to discern between information-bearing energy patterns and random energy patterns that distract from the information (called noise, consisting of background stimuli and random activity of the detection machine and of the nervous system of the operator).
Transduction first step in sensation 
Transduction in general is the transportation or transformation of something from one form, place, or concept to another.
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Form perception Involves organization of the visual field into objects that stand out from their surroundings 
Depth perception
Depth perception is the visual ability to perceive the world in three dimensions (3D) and the distance of an object.

two types = 
binocular and monocular 
Adaptation An adaptation in biology is a trait with a current functional role in the life history of an organism that is maintained and evolved by means of natural selection.
Psuedo-science
Ex) the amazing Randi 

Pseudoscience is a claim, belief, or practice which is presented as scientific, but does not adhere to a valid scientific method, lacks supporting evidence or plausibility, cannot be reliably tested, or otherwise lacks scientific status.
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Case Study examines one individual in depth 


A case study is an intensive analysis of an individual unit, stressing developmental factors in relation to context. 
A Survey looks at many cases but in less depth
looks at how they all relate 
Brainstem / Medulla the medulla is the base of the brainstem that controls the heartbeat and breathing 
Brainstem/ Reticular Formation the reticular formation is a nerve network in the brainstem that plays an important role in controlling arousal 
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Brainstem / Thalamus the brains sensory switchboard, located on the top of the brainstem. it directs messages to the sensory areas in the cortex 
Cerebellum the "little brain" attached to the rear of the brainstem. it helps coordinate voluntary movements and balance. 


The cerebellum is a region of the brain that plays an important role in motor control.
Amygdala and Hippocampus amygdala = consists of two lima bean sized neural clusters linked to the emotions of fear and anger 
hippocampi = two semicircular structures involved in forming new memories 
Hypothalamus lies below the thalamus. it directs maintenance activities like eating, drinking, body temperature and control of emotions. it helps govern the endocrine system via the pituitary gland. 
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Motor Cortex the area at the rear of the frontal lobes that control voluntary movements. 
Sensory Cortex receives information from skin surface and sense organs 
Consciousness an awareness of ourselves (our thoughts) and our environment 
What causes change consciousness? 1) spontaneous - ex) daydreaming 
2) physiology - ex) anesthesia
3) psychology - ex) meditation and hypnosis 
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Dependence on Drugs continued use of a psychoactive drug produces tolerance. with repeated exposure to a drug, the drugs effect lessens. thus it takes greater quantities to get the desired effect.
dependence = absence of drug may lead to a feeling of physical pain, intense cravings and negative emotions 
Withdrawal withdrawal = upon stopping use of a drug (after addiction), users may experience the undesirable effects of withdrawal 

Withdrawal is the group of symptoms that occur upon the abrupt discontinuation or decrease in intake of medications or recreational drugs.
Addiction addiction = a craving for a chemical substance, despite its adverse consequences 
Why do people smoke? 1) because it is socially rewarding 
2) extremely addictive 
3) nicotine takes away unpleasant cravings 
4) nicotine itself is a positive reinforcement 
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Sleep Stages 3-4 during deepest sleep, brain activity slows down. there are large-amplitude, slow delta waves 
Sleep stage 5 REM sleep 
after reaching the deepest stage (4) the sleep cycle starts moving backward towards stage 1. 
although still asleep, the brain engages in low amplitude, fast and regular beta waves much like awake-aroused state. 
Sleep Disorders Insomnia = a persistent inability to sleep 
narcolepsy = overpowering urge to fall asleep that may occur while talking or standing up 
sleep apnea = failure to breathe when asleep 
night terrors = the sudden arousal from sleep with intense fear accompanied by physiological reactions which occur during stage 4 sleep 
sleepwalking = a stage 4 disorder which is usually harmless and unrecalled the next day 
sleeptalking = a condition that runs in families 
Manifest Content a freudian term meaning the story line of dreams. 
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Dreams - Negative Emotional Content twice as many negative emotions as positive reported but 20% of dreams have no emotional content at all 
Sexual Dreams Contrary to our thinking sexual dreams are sparse. sexual dreams in men are 1 in 10 and 1 in 30 for women 
Why We Dream... 1) wish fulfillment 
2) information processing 
3) physiological function 
4) activation - synthesis theory (neural activation) 
5) cognitive development 
Dreams - Wish fulfillment freud suggested that dreams provide a psychic safety valve to discharge unacceptable feelings. the dreams manifest content may also have symbolic meaning that signify our unacceptable feelings 
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Dreams - Information Processing dreams may help us sift, sort and fix a day's experiences in our memories 
Dreams - Physiological Function Dreams provide the sleeping brain with periodic stimulation to develop and preserve neural pathways. Neural networks of newborns are quickly developing therefore they need more sleep. 
Dreams - Activation Synthesis Theory Suggests that the brain engages in a lot of random and neural activity. dreams make sense of a lot of this activity. 
Dreams - Cognitive Development some researchers argue that we dream as a part of brain maturation and cognitive development 
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Double Blind Procedure in evaluating drug therapies, patients and experimenters assistants should remain unaware of which patients had the placebo treatment 
Random Assignment Assigning participants to experimental and control conditions by random assignment minimizes pre-existing differences in the two groups 
Absolute Threshold minimum stimulation needed to detect 50% of the time 


In neuroscience and psychophysics, an absolute threshold is the smallest detectable level of a stimulus.
Difference Threshold
minimum difference a person can detect between two stimuli 

In psychophysics, a just-noticeable difference, customarily abbreviated with lowercase letters as jnd, is the smallest detectable difference between a starting and secondary level of a particular sensory stimulus.
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Sensory Adaptation we lose sensitivity to constant stimulation 
we are primarily sensitive to changes 
Physical characteristics or light 1) wavelength - hue/color
2) intensity - brightness 
Hue/ color is the dimension of color determined by the wavelength of the light 
Wavelength is the distance from the peak of one wave to the peak of the next 
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Intensity (brightness) amount of energy in a wave determined by the amplitude 
it is related to perceived brightness
Photoreceptors Cones = good for color and light 
Rods = good for dim light and no color 
Feature Detection Nerve cells in the visual cortex respond to specific features such as edges angles and movement 
Shape Detection specific combinations of temporal love activity occur as people look at shoes, faces, chairs and houses etc. 
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Visual Information Processing Processing of several aspects of stimulus simultaneously is called parallel processing. the brain divides a visual scene into subdivisions such as color, depth, form and movement 
Depth - Monocular Cues
relative size, interposition, relative height, linear convergence, light and shadow 


Monocular Cues - Linear Perspective Linear perspective = parallel lines, such as railroad tracks, appear to converge in the distance. the more lines converge the greater their perceived distance
Monocular Cues - Light and Shadow Nearby objects reflect more light into our eyes than more distant objects. given two identical objects, the dimmer one appears to be farther away 
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Perceptual Disorders Prosopagnosia = the inability to recognize faces 
visual agnosia = the inability to recognize objects visually 
Taste Chemical receptors on the tongue or "taste-buds" detect five different families of flavors 
sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami
Smell like taste, smell is a chemical sense. odorants enter the nasal cavity to stimulate five million receptors to sense smell. Unlike taste, there are many different forms of smell. 
Sensory Interaction / Integration When on sense affects another sense, sensory interaction takes place. ex) taste of strawberry interacts with its smell and texture to produce its flavor 
flavor, taste and smell are all interconnected 
ex) the McGurk effect - combining our senses for a different result 
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Smell and Memories the brain region for smell is connected with the brain region involved with memory. that is why strong memories are made through the sense of smell 
The Body Senses - Proprioception where your body is in space
The Body Senses - Kinesthetics where your body is with respect to gravity 
Touch the sense of tough is a mix of four distinct skin senses - pressure, warmth, cold and pain 
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Blindsight Blindsight is the ability of people who are cortically blind due to lesions in their striate cortex, also known as primary visual cortex or V1, to respond to visual stimuli that they do not consciously see.
Cognitive Neuroscience Cognitive neuroscience is an academic field concerned with the scientific study of biological substrates underlying cognition, with a specific focus on the neural substrates of mental processes.
Dual Processing our brain is constantly processing things that are conscious and subconscious 
Critical Thinking thinking that does not blindly accept arguments and conclusion but examines them 
(a smarter technique) 
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Replication repeating the essence of a research study, usually with different participants in different situations to see whether the basic finding follow through 
Operation Definition a statement of the procedures used to define research variables 
ex) human intelligence is "what an intelligence test measures"
Population All the cases in a group being studied, from which samples may be drawn. 
Correlation Coefficient A statistical index of the relationship between two things 
(?)

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Scatterplot A graphed cluster of dots, each of which represents the values of two variables 
Experimental Group the group that is actually exposed to the treatment
Control Group the group that is NOT exposed to the treatment 
Confounding Variable a factor other than the independent variable that might produce an effect in an experiment 
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Informed Consent An ethical principle that research participants be told enough to enable them to choose whether they wish to participate 
Frontal Lobes portion of the cerebral cortex lying just behind the forehead 
involved in speaking and muscle movements and in making plans and judgements
Pariental Lobes portion of the cerebral cortex lying at the top of the head and toward the rear
receives sensory input for touch and body position 
Occipital Lobes portion of the cerebral cortex lying at the back of the head
includes areas that receive information from the visual fields 
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Temporal Lobes portion of the cerebral cortex lying roughly above the ears
includes auditory areas - each receiving information primarily from the opposite ear 
Association Areas Areas of the cerebral cortex that are not involved in primary motor or sensory functions 
Hallucinations false sensory experiences, such as seeing something in the absence of an external visual stimulus 
Latent Content according to Freud, the underlying meaning of a dream (different from manifest content) 
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REM Rebound the tendency for REM sleep to increase following REM sleep deprivation (created by repeated awakenings during REM sleep) 
Posthypnotic Suggestion a suggestion made during hypnosis session, to be carried out after the subject is no longer hypnotized 
used by some clinicians to help control undesired symptoms and behaviors 
Dissociation a split in consciousness, which allows some thoughts and behaviors to occur simultaneously with others 
Depressants drugs like alcohol that reduce neural activity and slow body functions 
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Barbiturates drugs that depress central nervous system activity by reducing anxiety 
Opiates opium and its derivatives such as heroin - they depress neural activity temporarily lessoning pain and anxiety 
Stimulants drugs like caffeine that excite neural activity and speed up body functions 
Amphetamines drugs that stimulate neural activity causing speeded-up body functions and mood changes 
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Methamphetamine a powerfully addictive drug that stimulates the central nervous system  with speeded up body functions and associated energy and mood changes
Ecstasy a synthetic stimulant and mild hallucinogen 
produces euphoria and social intimacy 
LSD  powerful hallucinogenic drug also known as acid 
near-death experience an altered state of consciousness reported for after a close brush with death 
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THC the active ingredient in marijuana 
Perception Set a mental predisposition to perceive one thing and not the other 
Pupil the adjustable opening in the center of the eye through which light enters 
Iris a ring of muscle tissue that forms the colored portion of the eye 

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Lens the transparent structure behind the pupil that changes shape to help focus images on the retina 
Retina the light-sensitive inner surface of the eye, containing the receptor rods and cones plus layers of neurons that begin processing of visual information 
Accommodation the process by which the eyes lens changes shape to focus near or far objects on the retina 
Optic Nerve the nerve that carries neural impulses from the eye to the brain 
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Blind Spot The point at which optic nerve leaves the eye creating a "blind" spot because no receptor cells are located there 
Fovea the central focal point in the retina around which the eyes cones cluster 
Three-Color Theory the theory that the retina contains three different color receptors, green red and blue - which when stimulated in combination can produce the perception of any color 
Opponent-Process Theory the theory that opposing retinal processes enable color vision 
(red-green, black-white, yellow-blue)
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Gestalt an organized whole
Figure-Ground the organization of the visual field into objects that stand out from their surroundings 
Grouping the perceptual tendency to organize stimuli 
Binocular Cues depth cues, such as retinal disparity, that depend on the use of two eyes 
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Retinal Disparity a binocular cue for perceiving depth - by comparing images from the retinas in the two eyes, the brain computes distance  - the brain computes the greater distance between two images, the close the object. 
Monocular Cues depth cues such as interposition and liner perspective, available to either eye alone. 
Phi Phenomenon an illusion of movement created when two or more adjacent lights blink on and off in quick succession 
Color Constancy perceiving familiar objects as having consistent color, even if changing illumination alters the wavelengths reflected by the object 
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Perceptual Constancy perceiving objects as unchanging even as illumination and retinal images change 
Frequency the number of complete wavelengths that pass a point in a given time 
Pitch a tone's experienced highness or lowness (depends on frequency)
Middle Ear The chamber between the eardrum and the cochlea containing three tiny bones that concentrate the vibrations of the eardrum on the cochlea's oval window 
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Cochlea a coiled, bony, fluid-filled tube in the inner-ear 
sound waves traveling through the cochlear fluid trigger nerve impulses 
Inner Ear The innermost part of the ear, containing the cochlea, semicircular canals and vestibular sacs 
Sensorineural hearing loss hearing loss caused by damage to the cochleas receptor cells or the auditory nerves 
Conduction Hearing Loss hearing loss caused by damage to mechanical system that conducts sound waves and the cochlea 
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Cochlear Implant a device for converting sound into electrical signals and stimulating the auditory nerve through electrodes threaded into the cochlea 
Place Theory in hearing, the theory that links the pitch we hear with the place where the cochleas membrane is stimulated 
Frequency Theory in hearing, the theory that the rate of nerve impulses traveling up the auditory nerve matches the frequency of tone, thus enabling us to sense its pitch 
Vestibular Sense the sense of body movement and position, including the sense of balance 
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Psychology's Big Questions 1) Nature versus Nurture 
2) commonality versus uniqueness 
3) What is "normal" 
4) what is volition (or free will) 
5) what is consciousness 

Three Levels of Analysis biological 
psychological 
social-cultural 

Current Perspectives - Evolutionary how the natural selection of traits has promoted the survival of genes 
Current Perspectives - Behavior Genetics How are genes and our environment influence our individual differences 
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Current Perspectives - Psychodynamic how behavior springs from unconscious drives and conflicts 
Current Perspectives - Behavioral how we learn observable responses 
Current Perspectives - Cognitive How we encode, process, store and retrieve information 
Current Perspectives - Social-Cultural how behavior and thinking vary across situations and cultures 
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Scientific Method a self-correcting process for evaluating ideas with observation and analysis 
Left Handedness about 10% of people are left handed and about 30% of left handed people have atypical organization or a lack of laterality (some use the opposite hemisphere for certain functions) 
they usually suffer from more illnesses 
Left and Right Hemispheres Left hemisphere controls the right side of your body and vice versa 
right hemisphere moves 
left hemisphere speaks 
Hypnosis - Therapeutic Implications hypnotherapists try to help people harness their own healing power 
posthypnotic suggestions can help to alleviate headaches, asthma and stress related skin disorders 
can help with obesity 
can relieve pain 
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Sound Localization
Influence on Drug use or Cessation there are biological, psychological and social-cultural reasons why people use drugs. 
- some are biologically vulnerable to drugs, depression can lead to using drugs, maybe its done for social reasons (to be "cool"), peer influence
 we need to education people about the effects and usage will decline 
Auditory Attention Same as cocktail party effect? 
being able to focus on one sound or voice and filter out the rest 
Biological Rhythms Circadian Rhythm = the biological clock that regulates bodily rhythms (ex. temperature and wakefulness) - the 24 hour biological clock 
Sleep Rhythm = 90 minute sleep cycle clock 
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 Functionalism
Early approach to psychology 
focused on the adaptive nature of mental processes 
asks the question - what is the evolutionary benefit 
looks at the whole 
 Structuralism
early approach to psychology 
breaking our inner world into component pieces 
about looking at all the parts 

 Introspectiontool of structuralism 
about looking inside  
 The 3 Good Scientific Principles1) Manipulation of variables (casualty) 
2) Good sampling (generalization) 
3) Converging evidence (confidence) 
 Normal Curve a symmetrical bell-shaped curve 
 normal distribution - a continuous probability distribution

 Statistical Significancestatement of how likely it is that an obtained result occurred by chance 
 Hypothesis
 testable predictions produced by a good theory

A hypothesis is a proposed explanation for a phenomenon.

 Theoryexplains with principles that organize observations and predict behaviors or events 


Theory is a contemplative and rational type of abstract or generalizing thinking, or the results of such thinking.
 Naturalistic Observationobserving or recording the behavior of animals in the wild or another example would be recording self-seating patterns in a multiracial school lunch room 

Naturalistic observation is a research tool in which a subject is observed in its natural habitat without any manipulation by the observer.
 Hindsight Bias
I knew it all along phenomena (when in reality you didn't) 

Hindsight bias, also known as the knew-it-all-along effect or creeping determinism, is the inclination to see events that have already occurred as being more predictable than they were before they took place.
 Mode, Median and Meanmode = most frequent 
mean = average 
median = midpoint 
 Rangegap between highest and lowest scores, provides a crude estimate of the variation 
 Standard of Deviationmeasures how much scores deviate from the one another 
 Neuron
how your body's information system is built, works like pushing over a domino, they like to negatively charged 
A neuron is an electrically excitable cell that processes and transmits information through electrical and chemical signals.

 Lock and Key Mechanismneurotransmitters bind to the receptor of the receiving neuron in a key-lock mechanism 
agonists = mimic neurotransmitters 
antagonists = block neurotransmitters 
 Re-Uptake
neurotransmitters in the synapse are reabsorbed into the sending neurons through the process of reuptake. this process applies brakes on the neurotransmitter action. 
Reuptake, or re-uptake, is the reabsorption of a neurotransmitter by a neurotransmitter transporter of a pre-synaptic neuron after it has performed its function of transmitting a neural impulse.
 Old Brainbasic life functions - breathing, arousal and heart beat 
 Limbic System
a system of neural structures at the border of the brainstem and cerebrum associated with emotions such as fear, aggression and drives for food and sex 
controls emotion, motivation, learning and memory

The limbic system is a complex set of brain structures that lies on both sides of the thalamus, right under the cerebrum.
 Cerebral Cortex
controls sensation, perception, language, reasoning and spatial navigation 

The cerebral cortex is a sheet of neural tissue that is outermost to the cerebrum of the mammalian brain.
 Action Potentialan electrical charge travels down an axon and is generated by movement of positively charged atoms in and out of channels in the axon's membrane. 
"all or none" response = a strong stimulus can trigger more neurons to fire and fire more often but it does not effect the action potentials strength or speed. 
 Excitatory Thresholdeach neuron receives excitatory and inhibitory signals, when the excitatory signals minus the inhibitory signals exceed a minimum intensity (threshold = the level of stimulation required to trigger a neural response) the neuron fires an action potential. 

 inhibitory signals make the neuron less likely to fire 
 SynapseIn the nervous system, a synapse is a structure that permits a neuron to pass an electrical or chemical signal to another cell (neural or otherwise).

synaptic communication = through neurotransmitters (chemicals) released from sending neuron that travels across the synapse and bind to the receptor site on the other neuron 
 Hemi-Spatial Neglecta more limited view 

?
 TMStranscranial magnetic stimulation 
a way to create reversible virtual regions lesions 
creates virtual patients in the lab, safe if done properly 
interfering with the brains electrical signal 

Cons = difficult to localize damage precisely 
no network effects
binary manipulation 
 EEG
an amplified read out of electrical waves inside the brain (great temporal resolutions but poor spatial resolution, only surface activity, signals deeper in the brain are weaker) 

MEG = measuring the electric current in neurons that produce small magnetic fields (but they are way harder to detect though they are more precise) 
 Neuro-imagingimportant innovation in cognitive science
collects signals from within the brain 
signals that pass through brain tissue (specifically changes in oxygen concentration) 
 Computational Modelingcreating a math / computer representation of a system
 makes assumption that every phenomena can be reduced to its basic components 
it simplifies, is explicit, quantifiable and it uncovers principles 

 Lesion
tissue destruction (naturally or experimentally caused) 

A lesion is any abnormality in the tissue of an organism, usually caused by disease or trauma.
 PET Scan
depicts brain activity by showing each brain areas consumption of its chemical fuel (sugar glucose) 
tracks radioactive elements inserted in the blood flow 
 MRI Scan
a technique that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce computer generated images of soft tissue 


Magnetic resonance imaging, nuclear magnetic resonance imaging is a medical imaging technique used in radiology to visualize internal structures of the body in detail.
 fMRI Scan
a technique revealing blood flow and brain activity by comparing successful MRI scans 
Functional magnetic resonance imaging 
tracks magnetic properties of a given molecule type 
 Split Braina condition resulting from surgery that isolates the brains two hemispheres by cutting the fibers connecting them. 
 Corpus Callosumthe large band of neural fibers connecting the two brain hemispheres and carries messages between them 
 NeuroscienceNeuroscience is the scientific study of the nervous system. 
 Change Blindness
Change blindness is a psychological phenomenon that occurs when a change in a visual stimulus goes unnoticed by the observer.

a form of unintentional blindness 
 Hypnosisa social interaction in which one person suggests to another that certain perceptions, feelings, thoughts, or behaviors will spontaneously occur. 
two theories = 1) divided consciousness theory - hypnosis is a special state of disassociated (divided) consciousness / split awareness 
2)  social influence theory - hypnotic subjects may simply be imaginative actors playing a social role (behaving how they think they should) 

 Correlation and Causation"Correlation does not imply causation" is a phrase used in science and statistics to emphasize that a correlation between two variables does not necessarily imply that one causes the other.

Correlation = a measure of the extent to which two factors vary together and thus of how well either factor predicts the other 

 Dependent and Independent Variablesindependent = what you manipulate 
dependent = what you measure 
 Central Tendencythe way in which quantitative data tend to cluster around some value.
 Variance variance is a measure of how far a set of numbers is spread out.
 Locality Assumptionthe idea that one cortical region has one function
in reality many regions are involved in most functions or multiple functions - it is all highly interconnected 
 Selective Attentionat any one time we are being bombarded by information. information and distractions come from the external world as well from our internal world (inner voice, thoughts etc.) 
we use attention to "select" which pieces of the world will make it into our conscious awareness
attentional processes can be intentional (focusing on the road or in class) or automatic (when someone says your name - cocktail party phenomena) 
 Zoning-outthe default network - a switch from attending to your outside world to attending to your inside world. 
 Sleep Stages 1-2early light sleep
the brain enters a high-amplitude, slow, regular wave form called theta waves. a person who is daydreaming shows theta activity 
 Theories of Sleep1) sleep protects - sleeping in the darkness when predators loomed about kept our ancestors out of harms way
2) sleep helps us recover - sleep helps restore and repair brain tissue 
3) sleep helps us remember - sleep restores and rebuilds our fading memories 
4) sleep may play a role in the growth process - during sleep the pituitary gland releases growth hormone. older people release less of this hormone and sleep less. 
 Psychoactive DrugsA chemical substance that alters perceptions and mood (affects consciousness) 

 Sensation versus Perceptionsensation = the process by which we detect physical energy from the environment and convert it into a neural signal 

perception = selection, organization 
 Top Down versus Bottom Up Processingbottom up = analysis of stimulus begins with the sense receptors and works up to the level of brain and mind 
top down processing = information processing guided by higher level mental processes as we construct perceptions drawing on our experiences and expectation (ex. reading?) 
 Psychophysics investigates the relationship between physical stimuli and the sensations and perceptions they affect.
 Weber-Fechner lawstates that "just noticeable difference" varies proportionately with the intensity of stimulus (look at the ratios) 
 Signal Detectionthe ability to discern between information-bearing energy patterns and random energy patterns that distract from the information (called noise, consisting of background stimuli and random activity of the detection machine and of the nervous system of the operator).
 Transductionfirst step in sensation 
Transduction in general is the transportation or transformation of something from one form, place, or concept to another.
 Form perceptionInvolves organization of the visual field into objects that stand out from their surroundings 
 Depth perception
Depth perception is the visual ability to perceive the world in three dimensions (3D) and the distance of an object.

two types = 
binocular and monocular 
 AdaptationAn adaptation in biology is a trait with a current functional role in the life history of an organism that is maintained and evolved by means of natural selection.
 Psuedo-science
Ex) the amazing Randi 

Pseudoscience is a claim, belief, or practice which is presented as scientific, but does not adhere to a valid scientific method, lacks supporting evidence or plausibility, cannot be reliably tested, or otherwise lacks scientific status.
 Case Studyexamines one individual in depth 


A case study is an intensive analysis of an individual unit, stressing developmental factors in relation to context. 
 A Surveylooks at many cases but in less depth
looks at how they all relate 
 Brainstem / Medullathe medulla is the base of the brainstem that controls the heartbeat and breathing 
 Brainstem/ Reticular Formationthe reticular formation is a nerve network in the brainstem that plays an important role in controlling arousal 
 Brainstem / Thalamusthe brains sensory switchboard, located on the top of the brainstem. it directs messages to the sensory areas in the cortex 
 Cerebellumthe "little brain" attached to the rear of the brainstem. it helps coordinate voluntary movements and balance. 


The cerebellum is a region of the brain that plays an important role in motor control.
 Amygdala and Hippocampusamygdala = consists of two lima bean sized neural clusters linked to the emotions of fear and anger 
hippocampi = two semicircular structures involved in forming new memories 
 Hypothalamuslies below the thalamus. it directs maintenance activities like eating, drinking, body temperature and control of emotions. it helps govern the endocrine system via the pituitary gland. 
 Motor Cortexthe area at the rear of the frontal lobes that control voluntary movements. 
 Sensory Cortexreceives information from skin surface and sense organs 
 Consciousnessan awareness of ourselves (our thoughts) and our environment 
 What causes change consciousness?1) spontaneous - ex) daydreaming 
2) physiology - ex) anesthesia
3) psychology - ex) meditation and hypnosis 
 Dependence on Drugscontinued use of a psychoactive drug produces tolerance. with repeated exposure to a drug, the drugs effect lessens. thus it takes greater quantities to get the desired effect.
dependence = absence of drug may lead to a feeling of physical pain, intense cravings and negative emotions 
 Withdrawalwithdrawal = upon stopping use of a drug (after addiction), users may experience the undesirable effects of withdrawal 

Withdrawal is the group of symptoms that occur upon the abrupt discontinuation or decrease in intake of medications or recreational drugs.
 Addictionaddiction = a craving for a chemical substance, despite its adverse consequences 
 Why do people smoke?1) because it is socially rewarding 
2) extremely addictive 
3) nicotine takes away unpleasant cravings 
4) nicotine itself is a positive reinforcement 
 Sleep Stages 3-4during deepest sleep, brain activity slows down. there are large-amplitude, slow delta waves 
 Sleep stage 5REM sleep 
after reaching the deepest stage (4) the sleep cycle starts moving backward towards stage 1. 
although still asleep, the brain engages in low amplitude, fast and regular beta waves much like awake-aroused state. 
 Sleep DisordersInsomnia = a persistent inability to sleep 
narcolepsy = overpowering urge to fall asleep that may occur while talking or standing up 
sleep apnea = failure to breathe when asleep 
night terrors = the sudden arousal from sleep with intense fear accompanied by physiological reactions which occur during stage 4 sleep 
sleepwalking = a stage 4 disorder which is usually harmless and unrecalled the next day 
sleeptalking = a condition that runs in families 
 Manifest Contenta freudian term meaning the story line of dreams. 
 Dreams - Negative Emotional Contenttwice as many negative emotions as positive reported but 20% of dreams have no emotional content at all 
 Sexual DreamsContrary to our thinking sexual dreams are sparse. sexual dreams in men are 1 in 10 and 1 in 30 for women 
 Why We Dream...1) wish fulfillment 
2) information processing 
3) physiological function 
4) activation - synthesis theory (neural activation) 
5) cognitive development 
 Dreams - Wish fulfillmentfreud suggested that dreams provide a psychic safety valve to discharge unacceptable feelings. the dreams manifest content may also have symbolic meaning that signify our unacceptable feelings 
 Dreams - Information Processingdreams may help us sift, sort and fix a day's experiences in our memories 
 Dreams - Physiological FunctionDreams provide the sleeping brain with periodic stimulation to develop and preserve neural pathways. Neural networks of newborns are quickly developing therefore they need more sleep. 
 Dreams - Activation Synthesis TheorySuggests that the brain engages in a lot of random and neural activity. dreams make sense of a lot of this activity. 
 Dreams - Cognitive Developmentsome researchers argue that we dream as a part of brain maturation and cognitive development 
 Double Blind Procedurein evaluating drug therapies, patients and experimenters assistants should remain unaware of which patients had the placebo treatment 
 Random AssignmentAssigning participants to experimental and control conditions by random assignment minimizes pre-existing differences in the two groups 
 Absolute Thresholdminimum stimulation needed to detect 50% of the time 


In neuroscience and psychophysics, an absolute threshold is the smallest detectable level of a stimulus.
 Difference Threshold
minimum difference a person can detect between two stimuli 

In psychophysics, a just-noticeable difference, customarily abbreviated with lowercase letters as jnd, is the smallest detectable difference between a starting and secondary level of a particular sensory stimulus.
 Sensory Adaptationwe lose sensitivity to constant stimulation 
we are primarily sensitive to changes 
 Physical characteristics or light1) wavelength - hue/color
2) intensity - brightness 
 Hue/ coloris the dimension of color determined by the wavelength of the light 
 Wavelengthis the distance from the peak of one wave to the peak of the next 
 Intensity (brightness)amount of energy in a wave determined by the amplitude 
it is related to perceived brightness
 PhotoreceptorsCones = good for color and light 
Rods = good for dim light and no color 
 Feature DetectionNerve cells in the visual cortex respond to specific features such as edges angles and movement 
 Shape Detectionspecific combinations of temporal love activity occur as people look at shoes, faces, chairs and houses etc. 
 Visual Information ProcessingProcessing of several aspects of stimulus simultaneously is called parallel processing. the brain divides a visual scene into subdivisions such as color, depth, form and movement 
 Depth - Monocular Cues
relative size, interposition, relative height, linear convergence, light and shadow 


 Monocular Cues - Linear PerspectiveLinear perspective = parallel lines, such as railroad tracks, appear to converge in the distance. the more lines converge the greater their perceived distance
 Monocular Cues - Light and ShadowNearby objects reflect more light into our eyes than more distant objects. given two identical objects, the dimmer one appears to be farther away 
 Perceptual DisordersProsopagnosia = the inability to recognize faces 
visual agnosia = the inability to recognize objects visually 
 TasteChemical receptors on the tongue or "taste-buds" detect five different families of flavors 
sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami
 Smelllike taste, smell is a chemical sense. odorants enter the nasal cavity to stimulate five million receptors to sense smell. Unlike taste, there are many different forms of smell. 
 Sensory Interaction / IntegrationWhen on sense affects another sense, sensory interaction takes place. ex) taste of strawberry interacts with its smell and texture to produce its flavor 
flavor, taste and smell are all interconnected 
ex) the McGurk effect - combining our senses for a different result 
 Smell and Memoriesthe brain region for smell is connected with the brain region involved with memory. that is why strong memories are made through the sense of smell 
 The Body Senses - Proprioceptionwhere your body is in space
 The Body Senses - Kinestheticswhere your body is with respect to gravity 
 Touchthe sense of tough is a mix of four distinct skin senses - pressure, warmth, cold and pain 
 BlindsightBlindsight is the ability of people who are cortically blind due to lesions in their striate cortex, also known as primary visual cortex or V1, to respond to visual stimuli that they do not consciously see.
 Cognitive NeuroscienceCognitive neuroscience is an academic field concerned with the scientific study of biological substrates underlying cognition, with a specific focus on the neural substrates of mental processes.
 Dual Processingour brain is constantly processing things that are conscious and subconscious 
 Critical Thinkingthinking that does not blindly accept arguments and conclusion but examines them 
(a smarter technique) 
 Replicationrepeating the essence of a research study, usually with different participants in different situations to see whether the basic finding follow through 
 Operation Definitiona statement of the procedures used to define research variables 
ex) human intelligence is "what an intelligence test measures"
 PopulationAll the cases in a group being studied, from which samples may be drawn. 
 Correlation CoefficientA statistical index of the relationship between two things 
(?)

 ScatterplotA graphed cluster of dots, each of which represents the values of two variables 
 Experimental Groupthe group that is actually exposed to the treatment
 Control Groupthe group that is NOT exposed to the treatment 
 Confounding Variablea factor other than the independent variable that might produce an effect in an experiment 
 Informed ConsentAn ethical principle that research participants be told enough to enable them to choose whether they wish to participate 
 Frontal Lobesportion of the cerebral cortex lying just behind the forehead 
involved in speaking and muscle movements and in making plans and judgements
 Pariental Lobesportion of the cerebral cortex lying at the top of the head and toward the rear
receives sensory input for touch and body position 
 Occipital Lobesportion of the cerebral cortex lying at the back of the head
includes areas that receive information from the visual fields 
 Temporal Lobesportion of the cerebral cortex lying roughly above the ears
includes auditory areas - each receiving information primarily from the opposite ear 
 Association AreasAreas of the cerebral cortex that are not involved in primary motor or sensory functions 
 Hallucinationsfalse sensory experiences, such as seeing something in the absence of an external visual stimulus 
 Latent Contentaccording to Freud, the underlying meaning of a dream (different from manifest content) 
 REM Reboundthe tendency for REM sleep to increase following REM sleep deprivation (created by repeated awakenings during REM sleep) 
 Posthypnotic Suggestiona suggestion made during hypnosis session, to be carried out after the subject is no longer hypnotized 
used by some clinicians to help control undesired symptoms and behaviors 
 Dissociationa split in consciousness, which allows some thoughts and behaviors to occur simultaneously with others 
 Depressantsdrugs like alcohol that reduce neural activity and slow body functions 
 Barbituratesdrugs that depress central nervous system activity by reducing anxiety 
 Opiatesopium and its derivatives such as heroin - they depress neural activity temporarily lessoning pain and anxiety 
 Stimulantsdrugs like caffeine that excite neural activity and speed up body functions 
 Amphetaminesdrugs that stimulate neural activity causing speeded-up body functions and mood changes 
 Methamphetaminea powerfully addictive drug that stimulates the central nervous system  with speeded up body functions and associated energy and mood changes
 Ecstasya synthetic stimulant and mild hallucinogen 
produces euphoria and social intimacy 
 LSD powerful hallucinogenic drug also known as acid 
 near-death experiencean altered state of consciousness reported for after a close brush with death 
 THCthe active ingredient in marijuana 
 Perception Seta mental predisposition to perceive one thing and not the other 
 Pupilthe adjustable opening in the center of the eye through which light enters 
 Irisa ring of muscle tissue that forms the colored portion of the eye 

 Lensthe transparent structure behind the pupil that changes shape to help focus images on the retina 
 Retinathe light-sensitive inner surface of the eye, containing the receptor rods and cones plus layers of neurons that begin processing of visual information 
 Accommodationthe process by which the eyes lens changes shape to focus near or far objects on the retina 
 Optic Nervethe nerve that carries neural impulses from the eye to the brain 
 Blind SpotThe point at which optic nerve leaves the eye creating a "blind" spot because no receptor cells are located there 
 Foveathe central focal point in the retina around which the eyes cones cluster 
 Three-Color Theorythe theory that the retina contains three different color receptors, green red and blue - which when stimulated in combination can produce the perception of any color 
 Opponent-Process Theorythe theory that opposing retinal processes enable color vision 
(red-green, black-white, yellow-blue)
 Gestaltan organized whole
 Figure-Groundthe organization of the visual field into objects that stand out from their surroundings 
 Groupingthe perceptual tendency to organize stimuli 
 Binocular Cuesdepth cues, such as retinal disparity, that depend on the use of two eyes 
 Retinal Disparitya binocular cue for perceiving depth - by comparing images from the retinas in the two eyes, the brain computes distance  - the brain computes the greater distance between two images, the close the object. 
 Monocular Cuesdepth cues such as interposition and liner perspective, available to either eye alone. 
 Phi Phenomenonan illusion of movement created when two or more adjacent lights blink on and off in quick succession 
 Color Constancyperceiving familiar objects as having consistent color, even if changing illumination alters the wavelengths reflected by the object 
 Perceptual Constancyperceiving objects as unchanging even as illumination and retinal images change 
 Frequencythe number of complete wavelengths that pass a point in a given time 
 Pitcha tone's experienced highness or lowness (depends on frequency)
 Middle EarThe chamber between the eardrum and the cochlea containing three tiny bones that concentrate the vibrations of the eardrum on the cochlea's oval window 
 Cochleaa coiled, bony, fluid-filled tube in the inner-ear 
sound waves traveling through the cochlear fluid trigger nerve impulses 
 Inner EarThe innermost part of the ear, containing the cochlea, semicircular canals and vestibular sacs 
 Sensorineural hearing losshearing loss caused by damage to the cochleas receptor cells or the auditory nerves 
 Conduction Hearing Losshearing loss caused by damage to mechanical system that conducts sound waves and the cochlea 
 Cochlear Implanta device for converting sound into electrical signals and stimulating the auditory nerve through electrodes threaded into the cochlea 
 Place Theoryin hearing, the theory that links the pitch we hear with the place where the cochleas membrane is stimulated 
 Frequency Theoryin hearing, the theory that the rate of nerve impulses traveling up the auditory nerve matches the frequency of tone, thus enabling us to sense its pitch 
 Vestibular Sensethe sense of body movement and position, including the sense of balance 
 Psychology's Big Questions1) Nature versus Nurture 
2) commonality versus uniqueness 
3) What is "normal" 
4) what is volition (or free will) 
5) what is consciousness 

 Three Levels of Analysisbiological 
psychological 
social-cultural 

 Current Perspectives - Evolutionaryhow the natural selection of traits has promoted the survival of genes 
 Current Perspectives - Behavior GeneticsHow are genes and our environment influence our individual differences 
 Current Perspectives - Psychodynamichow behavior springs from unconscious drives and conflicts 
 Current Perspectives - Behavioralhow we learn observable responses 
 Current Perspectives - CognitiveHow we encode, process, store and retrieve information 
 Current Perspectives - Social-Culturalhow behavior and thinking vary across situations and cultures 
 Scientific Methoda self-correcting process for evaluating ideas with observation and analysis 
 Left Handednessabout 10% of people are left handed and about 30% of left handed people have atypical organization or a lack of laterality (some use the opposite hemisphere for certain functions) 
they usually suffer from more illnesses 
 Left and Right HemispheresLeft hemisphere controls the right side of your body and vice versa 
right hemisphere moves 
left hemisphere speaks 
 Hypnosis - Therapeutic Implicationshypnotherapists try to help people harness their own healing power 
posthypnotic suggestions can help to alleviate headaches, asthma and stress related skin disorders 
can help with obesity 
can relieve pain 
 Sound Localization
 Influence on Drug use or Cessationthere are biological, psychological and social-cultural reasons why people use drugs. 
- some are biologically vulnerable to drugs, depression can lead to using drugs, maybe its done for social reasons (to be "cool"), peer influence
 we need to education people about the effects and usage will decline 
 Auditory AttentionSame as cocktail party effect? 
being able to focus on one sound or voice and filter out the rest 
 Biological RhythmsCircadian Rhythm = the biological clock that regulates bodily rhythms (ex. temperature and wakefulness) - the 24 hour biological clock 
Sleep Rhythm = 90 minute sleep cycle clock 
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