Midterm 1 Review
The date for the exam is indicated in
the Syllabus and Calendar on Canvas.
Students with disability accommodations should get these to me as soon as possible, so that we can make the appropriate arrangements.
The exam will be administered online. Detailed instructions for taking the exam online will be distributed shortly.
Scope of the Exam
The exam will cover all lectures and required readings to date (Introduction, Biological Bases of Mind and Behavior, Learning, and Sensation and Perception) as well as the corresponding chapters of the text.
There are lots of resources available for the examination: Lecture Supplements on bSpace, which contain expanded treatment of the lectures given in class, as well as the Exam Information on bSpace, which provides copies of all past exams, with answers (and usually with explanations of the answers). I don't intentionally repeat questions from year to year, but the topics I deem important don't change that much.
In addition, students are encouraged to post questions to the Queries and Comments discussion board on Canvas. We will do our best to respond to them, provided that they are posted no later than noon on the day before the exam. Do not send questions by private e-mail to either me or the GSIs: we want to make sure that everybody in class has equal access to the exchanges.
The exam will consist of 50 multiple-choice questions. Roughly half will be drawn from the lectures, roughly half will be drawn from the text. Of course, there is some overlap between lectures and readings. The exam will be computer scored according to procedures outlined in the Exam Information page on the course website.
Exam Construction and Scoring
The focus of my exam is on basic concepts and principles.
- There are no questions specifically about names or dates (though names and dates may appear in questions).
- There are no questions about picky details.
- There are no questions about specific experiments, though you should be able to recognize the implications of the phenomena revealed by some classic experiments.
- There are no intentionally tricky questions: I want you to understand basic concepts and principles, not the exceptions to the rules.
The exam will be scored twice, following the procedures outlined in the page on Exam Information. Usually, we try to post exam grades within a couple of days of the exam. In the meantime, we will post the preliminary and revised scoring keys (wait for an announcement via Email, and posted to the website).
When grades are posted, there will also be an announcement to this effect.
You should know what we mean when we describe psychology as the science of mental life, and what we mean when we describe mental life in terms of cognition, emotion, and motivation. You should understand the doctrine of mentalism, and its implications for a psychological explanation of behavior.
You should also understand why
psychology can be construed as a behavioral science, a social
science, a biological science, and even a physical science.
The important point is that psychology is one of a number of behavioral sciences, with its distinctive level of explanation -- explaining the individual's behavior in terms of his or her mental states -- cognitive states of knowing, emotional states of feeling, and motivational states of desire.
You should have some idea of what reductionism is all about, and how the psychological level of analysis relates to the biological and sociocultural levels of analysis.
And, finally, you should know something about the history of psychology. You're not required to memorize names and dates, but you should understand why, up until the 19th century, psychology was considered to be an "impossible" science; how the 19th-century psychophysicists and physiological psychologists changed all that; how the scope of psychology expanded from "lower" mental processes to encompass "higher" cognition, emotion, motivation, personality, social interaction, and mental illness.
And you should have an appreciation of how psychology relates to other academic disciplines.
The textbook defines "psychology" a
little bit differently, compared to the lecture, as "the
systematic study of behavior and experience". The
lecture focuses on experience, encompassing all of
mental life; behavior is relevant too, of course, because
behavior is determined by the individual's mental
states. You should understand what Kalat means when he
says that, when it comes to behavior and experience, "it
depends" on a host of factors; and why measurement is the key
to scientific psychology.
You should also understand the major
debates within psychology:
- free will vs. determinism,
- mind vs. brain, and
- nature vs. nurture.
You should understand the difference between psychiatry and clinical psychology, and how clinical psychologists relate to other mental-health professionals; also the various sub-specialties within academic psychology (i.e., teaching and research).
Figure 1.4 illustrates major milestones in the history of
psychology. You should understand the difference between
structuralism and functionalism (most psychologists these days
are some kind of functionalist), what behaviorism was all
about, and why it was replaced by cognitive psychology; and
also how we got from Freudian psychoanalysis to modern,
scientific clinical psychology.
Biological Bases of Mind and Behavior
You should understand the hierarchical organization of the nervous system, beginning with the neuron and ending with the nervous system as a whole:
- the distinction between afferent neurons, efferent neurons, and interneurons;
- the reflex arc;
- depolarization, synaptic transmission, and the "all-or-none" law;
- distinction between the central and the peripheral nervous systems;
- the components of the central nervous system;
- the distinction between the autonomic and skeletal nervous system
- the distinction between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system, and the antagonistic relationship between these two branches of the ANS;
- the distinction between the cranial and the spinal nerves, and between the afferent and efferent pathways in the spinal nerves and the spinal cord
- the distinction between hindbrain, midbrain, and
forebrain, and the structures within each of these
You should have some idea of how the brain is divided into forebrain (including the cerebral cortex and subcortical structures like the thalamus, limbic system, and hypothalamus), the midbrain (including the reticular formation), and the hindbrain (including the cerebellum, medulla, and pons). But it is even more important that you have some idea what these brainstem and subcortical structures do, in terms of mind and behavior.
- Coma, the persistent vegetative state, and the "locked-in" syndrome are all associated with damage to the brainstem.
- Lesions in the hypothalamus affect eating behavior.
- Lesions in the hippocampus affect memory,
- Lesions in the amygdala affect emotion (or, at least,
You should know something about the development of the cerebral cortex (also called neocortex), viewed phylogenetically (in terms of the evolution of species) and ontogeneticaly (in terms of the development of the individual).
You should have the basic idea of how the cerebral cortex is divided into hemispheres and lobes by various boundaries such as the cerebral commissure, central fissure , and longitudinal fissure. And you should know that the cortex can be divided into 'Brodmann Areas" based on the specific kinds of nerves found in various areas. No, you don't have to memorize where the Brodmann areas are, though it would be nice if you knew some really important ones, like Area 17 in the occipital lobe, which is the primary visual cortex, V1.
And you should know something about functional specialization -- both the classical pseudoscience of phrenology and the modern doctrine of modularity -- including common examples of localization of function:
- speech and language functions (and the two major syndromes
of aphasia),and the coordination among the various areas in
processing written and oral language;
- primary motor and somatosensory areas,
- primary auditory and visual areas,
- face recognition,
- attention; and
- hemispheric specialization
You should understand that while many mental functions (like seeing and hearing) are localized, specific content appears not to be localized in discrete clusters of neurons (as indicated by Lashley's experiments on the Law of Mass Action).
You should know something about how recovery of function is possible even after brain damage, and especially about plasticity in the brain and the possibilities (and limitations) of neurogenesis.
Chapter 3 provides an excellent overview of biological psychology -- not surprising, as Kalat is himself a distinguished biological psychologist..
You should know how neurons are structured and how they work.
- Identify the cell body, dendrites, axon, myelin sheath, and terminal branches (fibers).
- Know what a synapse is.
- Know the basic principles underlying the action potential: resting potential, threshold, and the sodium and potassium gates and pumps.
- Mechanism of synaptic transmission, as illustrated in Figure 3.8.
- Don't memorize all the neurotransmitters, but you should be able to recognize at least some of those listed in Table 3.1.
You should understand how stimulants and depressants work,
and that mind-altering drugs, such as hallucinogens,
narcotics, and marijuana operate on various aspects of
synaptic transmission: release, stimulating or blocking
receptors, or blocking reuptake. You should be able to
recognize at least some of the drugs, and their effects on the
nervous system, listed in Table 3.2.
You should be able to map out the primary structures in the
brain, such as the various lobes -- but just as important, you
should know what mental and behavioral functions are
associated with these lobes.
- Figure 3.18 provides nice maps of somatosensory and motor cortex.
- How the two cerebral hemispheres are connected, how we study "split-brain" patients to identify functional differences between the hemispheres.
- The location of the major subcortical structures, and their associated functions.
- The sympathetic and parasympathetic branches of the autonomic nervous system.
- The relations between the autonomic nervous system and the endocrine system.
You should understand how brain plasticity underlies the ability to learn.
You should understand the "binding problem" of putting all the parts of the brain together.
You should know something about how genes operate, how heritability is estimated, through studies of twins and adopted children, and why the idea that there is "a gene for" some function is misleading.
You should know something about
evolutionary psychology, and how natural selection acts on
mind and behavior as well as bodily appearance.
The bottom line is: Don't obsess over the physiology and electrochemistry. Don't obsess over it, because we're more interested in what the brain does than in how the brain does it.
Methods and Statistics
Psychology is an empirical science, and that means it is a quantitative discipline, and that means that even introductory psychology students should know something about statistical methods. Fortunately, the textbook covers many of these same points.
Here are the kind of things you should know:
- You should know something about the differences among categorical (or nominal), ordinal, interval, and ratio scales of measurement.
- You should understand the difference between the mean, the median, and the mode as measures of central tendency. Yes, there might be a question in which you are asked to calculate one or the other of these measures. But the only serious calculation is for the mean, or average, and that's simple arithmetic.
- You should also understand the concept of variability, especially the standard deviation and the standard error. No, you won't be asked to calculate these statistics. But you should know what the standard deviation is good for. For example...
- In a "normal" (bell-shaped) distribution, the mean, the median, and the mode are identical. As a rule of thumb (or, if you will, a heuristic!), if a variable (like IQ) is distributed normally, we can expect that approximately 68% of scores will fall within 1 standard deviation (plus or minus) of the mean, 95 % of scores will fall within 2 standard deviations of the mean, and 99% of scores will fall within 3 standard deviations of the mean. This is known as "The Rule of 68, 95, and 99".
- What's left is divided, half above and half below the mean. Thus, with a normally distributed variable like IQ, which has a mean of 100 and a standard deviation of 15, we'd expect that 5% of the population would have IQ scores more than 2 standard deviations above or below the mean: 2.5% with IQs below 70 (the criterion for mental retardation), and another 2.5% with IQs above 130 (the criterion for genius -- but don't get too puffed up about it).
- How we can compare scores, in terms of percentiles, Z-scores, and T-scores.
- How we can use procedures like the t-test to
evaluate the statistical significance of differences between
means (but no, you won't be asked to actually perform
- You should understand that the correlation measures the strength and direction of the relationship between two variables; and that even a high positive correlation doesn't necessarily imply causation. The correlation coefficient is a major statistic used in personality research, and underlies things like factor analysis (the "Big Five") and behavior genetics (MZ and DZ similarity).
- And you should understand something about how differences between means are tested for statistical significance. This is a method commonly used in experimental psychology, to test the difference between experimental and control groups. Again, you don't have to know how to calculate Z-scores or critical ratios. But as a general heuristic, keep in mind "the Rule of 2", which comes in two versions:
- If the Z-score associated with an observation is greater than 2, we can be 95% confident that the score comes from a different population than the standardization group.
- If the critical ratio between two means is greater than 2, we can be 95% confident that there is a real difference between the two groups.
Just remember The Rule of 68, 95, and 99.
And, while you're at it, remember The Rule of 2.
You should understand the benefits of "statistical" or "actuarial" vs. "clinical" or "intuitive" prediction.
And, perhaps most important, you should understand why statistics provides a basis for principled argument in both science and policy.
Kalat is the author of a highly regarded textbook on research methods, so it's not surprising that his chapter on methods and statistics is very good. Here are some of the most important points.
- How hypotheses are derived from larger theories, and how
hypotheses are tested.
- The Law of Parsimony is important.
- Operational definitions define a construct by the means by
which it is measured -- which is why psychologists sometimes
joke that "IQ is what intelligence tests measure".
- Why sampling from a population is important, and something about the various kinds of sampling.
- Observational research designs, based on naturalistic observation or surveys.
- The concept of correlation, and why correlation does not necessarily imply causation.
- The difference between correlational and experimental research.
You should appreciate some of the ethical issues that crop of in research on both humans and non-humans animals.
And now we come to various topics in statistics. Nothing here is not also touched on in the lecture:
- Measures of central score (or central tendency), such as the mean, median, and mode.
- Measures of variation (or variability), such as the standard deviation, and how a "normal distribution" is interpreted.
- The concept of statistical significance, and why it is important.
And one of the things it does is to learn. So, you should understand the difference between innate and acquired (learned) associations, the distinctions among reflexes, taxes, and instincts, and the limitations of evolution -- and the special value of learning -- as a mechanism for behavior change.
With respect to classical conditioning, you should understand the basic procedure introduced by Pavlov, the basic vocabulary of classical conditioning. Be prepared to identify the unconditioned and conditioned stimuli, and the unconditioned and conditioned responses, in a specimen experiment.
You should know the basic vocabulary of classical
- acquisition by virtue of reinforcement,
- spontaneous recovery and savings in relearning (and their significance for understanding the nature of extinction;
- generalization (and the concept of a generalization gradient); and
- discrimination as a check on generalization (and the distinction between a CS+ and a CS-)
- sensory preconditioning and higher-order conditioning.
- Reinforcement is defined somewhat differently in instrumental conditioning, compared to the classical case:
- in classical conditioning, reinforcement refers to the pairing of a neutral CS with a US;
- In instrumental conditioning, reinforcement refers to the pairing of a CR with reward.
- The concept of schedules of reinforcement (fixed and variable, ratio and interval), really applies only in the instrumental case, though in both classical and instrumental conditioning partial reinforcement increases resistance to extinction.
Understand how, according to the traditional
stimulus-response (S-R) theory of learning, organisms come to
associate stimuli with responses by virtue of reinforcement.
You should also understand the four assumptions of S-R theory:
- association by contiguity;
- the empty organism; and
- the passive organism.
Understand the cognitive constraints on learning, as illustrated by the importance of contingency (predictability) rather than (spatio-temporal) contiguity in classical conditioning, and Kamin's experiment on the blocking effect. You should know how Seligman's studies of learned helplessness in avoidance conditioning not only undercut the traditional two-process theory of learning, but also revealed the role of controllability in instrumental conditioning.
Also, Tolman's experiment on latent learning and its implications: first for the role of reinforcement in learning, but also for the very definition of learning itself: as a change in knowledge, not a change in behavior. These points are underscored by Mineka's experiments on observational learning, and Bandura's cognitive social learning theory: in neither case does learning require reinforcement in the usual sense..
Most important, you should understand the implications of these phenomena for the traditional S-R theory of learning and its underlying assumptions. And why, from a cognitive point of view, learning is better defined as a change in knowledge than as a change in behavior. And how learning makes culture possible.
Kalat's graduate training was in a department that was heavily focused on learning theory, so his accounts of classical and instrumental conditioning are excellent. He was particularly responsible for introducing the notion of preparedness as a biological predisposition affecting learning.
For classical conditioning, you should understand:
- The difference between the conditioned and unconditioned stimulus, and the conditioned and unconditioned response.
- Extinction, spontaneous recovery, generalization, and discrimination.
- The role that classical conditioning may play in drug
tolerance and addiction.
You should also understand how conditioned taste aversions and birdsong reveal evolved biological predispositions in learning.
For operant (instrumental) conditioning, you should understand:
- the difference between primary and secondary reinforces;
- the difference between reinforcement and punishment, and the difference between positive and negative reinforcement.
- the shaping of behavior
- the effect of different schedules of reinforcement on behavior.
- applied behavior analysis and behavior modification
Kalat has an excellent introduction to social learning, which
is distinct from both classical and instrumental (operant)
conditioning. You should understand:
- the difference between modeling and imitation;
- the notion of vicarious reinforcement;
- the importance of self-efficacy and self-reinforcement.
Sensation and Perception
How do we know the world? To psychologists, this is obvious: through the experience of learning. However, this has not always been obvious to philosophers. So you should know something about the debate between philosophical nativism and empiricism -- and that psychologists come down pretty much on the side of empiricism.
You should be sure you understand the basic vocabulary of sensation: the distinction between the distal and the proximal stimulus, and the transduction of the proximal stimulus into a neural impulse.
You should know the various modalities of sensation
described by Sherrington:
- The distance senses of vision and audition
- The chemical senses of gustation and olfaction
- The cutaneous (skin) senses of touch, temperature, and pain
- Equilibrium (the vestibular sense)
- the proximal stimulus;
- the receptor organ(s);
- the sensory tract; and;
- the sensory projection area in the brain.
You should also understand that, in addition to intensity, which is common to all modalities of sensation, each sensory modality has associated with it a number of specific sensory qualities. Again, you should have a feeling for what the qualities are in each modality, but you only need to know the details for vision and audition. According to the psychophysical principle, every quality of sensation is related to some physical property of the stimulus. But according to Helmholtz' Doctrine of Specific Fiber Energies, each of these qualities is generated by a specific neural system, rather than by the stimulus (or even the receptor organ).
Kalat is really good about describing
the basics of color vision (the trichromatic theory, the
opponent-process theory, the retinex theory -- which isn't
discussed in lecture), and also of auditory pitch (frequency
theory, place theory, and volley theory), and that's where I
want you to know some details.
Just for the sake of completeness, here's another account of the evolution of color-vision theory.
- We know from the work of Thomas Young (1802) that visual hue is related to the wavelength of the light stimulus, with pure blue at 465 nanometers and pure red at 700 nanometers.
- We know that the rods are sensitive to the mere presence of light, while the cones are sensitive to different wavelengths of light.
- The visible spectrum ranges from 380-780 nm -- which suggests, at first blush, that there must be 400 different cones, each sensitive to a different wavelength. But that can't be right.
- Newton showed that a prism could break up visible light into 7 (actually, 6) primary colors (ROY G BIV), suggesting that maybe there are only 7 types of cones. But that's still a lot.
- We know that any color can be produced by the mixture of two primary colors, blue, green, yellow, and red, suggesting that maybe there are only 4 types of cones. That's better.
- But we also know that only 3 primary colors are necessary: red, green or yellow, and blue. This suggests that we only need 3 types of cones. And, in fact, it turns out that there are three types of cones in the retina, responsive to short, medium, and long wavelengths respectively.
- Helmholtz took this as grounds for proposing his trichromatic theory of color vision, according to which the experience of visual hue is generated by neural impulses arising from the types of cones.
- Any wavelength of light will stimulate all three cones, but the pattern of maximal activation will depend on the precise wavelength.
- Short-wavelength light will stimulate the "blue" cones more than the "green" or "red" cones.
- Long-wavelength light will stimulate the "red" cones more than the "blue" or "green cones.
- Medium-wavelength light will stimulate the "green" cone more than the "blue" or "red" cone.
- Somewhat higher wavelengths will stimulate both the "green" and "red" cones.
- So, for example, the experience of yellow is produced by mixing output from "red" and "green" cones.
- And the experience of purple is produced by mixing output from "red" and "blue" cones.
- The trichromatic theory illustrates the Doctrine of Specific Fiber Energies nicely, but it has some problems.
- According to the trichromatic theory, yellow is produced by mixing red and green. But observers experience "yellow" as a pure color: they just don't see any red or green in it.
- Color blindness comes in two forms: either the loss of all color experience, or the loss of only red and green. According to the trichromatic theory, there ought to be at least four types of color blindness, three associated with the loss of individual cone types, and a fourth associated with a loss of all cone types (you get the idea).
- The phenomenon of negative afterimages shows that we can "see" colors that aren't "in" the stimulus.
- To account for these problems, Hering proposed an opponent-process theory of color vision, later confirmed by Hurvich & Jameson.
- The theory begins by accepting Helmholtz's idea that there are three color receptors (cone types) in the retina, along with one type of rod.
- Output from the cones is further processed by another set of structures which are organized into antagonistic pairs (not unlike muscles and tendons, or the sympathetic and parasympathetic branches of the autonomic nervous system).
- One opponent process consists of a red-green pair.
- Stimulation by medium-wavelength light activates the green element and inhibits the red element.
- Stimulation by short- and long-wavelength light activates the red element and inhibits the green element.
- Another opponent process consists of a blue-yellow pair.
- Stimulation by short-wavelength light activates the blue element and inhibits the yellow element.
- Stimulation by medium- and long-wavelength light activates the yellow element and inhibits the blue element.
- And, finally, there is a light-dark pair.
- The presence of light stimulates the light element and inhibits the dark element.
- The absence of light stimulates the dark element and inhibits the light element.
- So, while there are only 3 kinds of cones, as Helmholtz proposed, there are actually four color elements, arranged in antagonistic pairs.
- The experience is color is produced by mixtures from these four elements.
- Which is why yellow is perceived as a pure color, not a mixture.
- When the stimulus is terminated, the previously activated element in each pair is inhibited, and its antagonist is disinhibited.
- Thus, turning off a short-to-medium-wavelength light replaces the experience of green with the experience of red.
- Turning off a long-wavelength light replaces the experience of red with the experience of green.
- Turning off a short-wavelength light replaces the experience of blue with the experience of yellow.
- Turning off a medium-to-long wavelength light replaces the experience of yellow with the experience of blue.
- Turning off light entirely replaces the experience of brightness with the experience of darkness, and vice-versa.
- The result of this disinhibition is chromatic (colored) and achromatic (black-and-white) negative afterimages.
- The fact that negative afterimages show that sensory experience isn't determined by the proximal stimulus (wavelength) or the receptor organ (rods and cones) but by specific neural systems. We now know that these opponent-processes are located in the lateral geniculate nucleus of the thalamus.
- In principle, if we could change the connections between the cone elements and the opponent processes, we'd see short-wavelength light as red and long-wavelength light as blue.
You should know something about the psychophysical laws -- Weber's, Fechner's, and Stevens'. You don't have to know the precise formulas involved, but you should know the concepts behind them.
You should know something about signal-detection theory, how hits and false alarms are used to discriminate between genuine sensitivity and response bias, and how catch trials and payoffs can be varied to manipulate expectations and motives.
The remaining lectures were oriented around the conflict between two views of perception: the ecological view of J.J. Gibson, which holds that all the information needed for perception is provided by the stimulus; and the constructive view of Helmholtz, Bruner, and others, which holds that the perceiver goes "beyond the information given" by the stimulus, and makes an active cognitive contribution to perception.
Gibson's ecological view is illustrated in lecture by the cues for motion and for depth (or distance) perception, so you should understand how these cues operate.
For example, in the case of depth/distance perception:
- the distinction between binocular and monocular cues;
- the distinction between ocular and optical cues;
- why monocular optical cues are also called "pictorial" cues; and
- how motion can be a cue to depth.
- the Gestalt principles of perception;
- the information-processing view of perception, particularly the distinction between feature-detection and pattern-recognition;
- perceptual constancies (and why they're not so much of a problem for Gibson)
- ambiguous (reversible) figures;
- visual illusions produced by unconscious inferences;
- cultural differences in perception
- problem-solving under conditions of ambiguous stimuli, such as the "gestalt" figures.
- There are two sources of information for perception:
- Information from the stimulus environment; This information is processed in a "bottom-up" fashion.
- Information from schemata, which refers to the perceiver's world knowledge, expectations, beliefs, etc., stored in memory.
- Schemata affect perception in a "top-down" fashion.
- The observer brings to any perceptual situation a pre-existing "schematic" representation of the world, including generalized knowledge, and specific expectations.
- If stimulus information fits readily into whatever schema is active, the object is immediately perceived, identified, and categorized, and is not processed further in the absence of active attention.
- If there is a mismatch between the information provided by the stimulus and the information expected by virtue of the schema, then the perceiver initiates further cognitive activity.
- Paying fuller attention to the object, searching for additional information.
- Physically manipulating the object to reveal additional information.
- Making inferences about the object, based on what is already known.
- The interaction between stimulus and schema may be described in terms of assimilation and accommodation.:
- Assimilation operates on the percept until it fits the schema.
- Accommodation changes the schema so that it can incorporate the percept.
- A mismatch between the percept and the schema initiates the perceptual cycle:
- Features of the object modify the schema.
- The schema directs cognitive and behavioral activity that modifies the object.
- The perceptual cycle of assimilation and accommodation continues until the object has been satisfactorily identified and categorized.
- And the perceptual cycle begins anew when a new object appears that doesn't match the prevailing schema.
- Perception often involves hypothesis-testing
- If the stimulus is richly informative and well-structured, perception is automatic.
- If the stimulus is vague, fragmentary, or ambiguous, perception requires problem-solving, in which the perceiver tests various hypotheses about what the object is, where it is, what it is doing, etc.
- Thus, perception entails a compromise between expectations and reality.
- In all of this, perception reflects effort after meaning, in which the perceiver goes "beyond the information given" by the stimulus to actively construct a mental representation of the world.
Kalat's Chapter 4 goes into a lot of
detail on how various modalities of sensation work, with
particular focus on the eye and the ear. It's fascinating, but
don't get caught up in it. Pay most attention to the basics of
- How visible light is mapped onto the electromagnetic spectrum.
- How light passes through the basic structures of the eye to land on the retina.
- The visual receptors, and the visual pathway.
The retinex theory doesn't really contradict the opponent-process theory, but its very name, derived from "retina" and "cortex", illustrates a basic point, which is that the experience of color is determined by the brain, not by the stimulus or the receptor.Now for hearing:
- How audible sound maps onto sound waves.
- How sound waves pass through the basic structures of the
ear to stimulate hair cells in the cochlea.
- How the frequency, volley, and place principles explain pitch perception.
- The vestibular sense, of balance.
- The cutaneous sense, the gate theory of pain, and how analgesics work; phantom-limb pain and how we explain it.
- The chemical senses of taste and smell.
- Sensory interactions in synesthesia.
Kalat doesn't really go into the
psychophysical laws, but you should understand the difference
between absolute and relative sensory thresholds. He has
a nice, if brief, account of signal-detection theory and the
controversy over subliminal perception.
The material on feature detectors is
important, but you should understand why they aren't all there
is to perception, and how feature-detection has to be
supplemented by things like the principles of Gestalt
You should understand the Gestalt
principles of perceptual organization, like proximity,
continuation, and closure.
Kalat provides a nice overview of the
cues used in the perception of motion and of depth.
Kalat has some nice illustrations of
reversible figures, perceptual constancies, and optical
illusions, some of which are not in the lectures.