AP Psychology/Sensation and Perception

Introduces how humans perceive and process the world around them via their senses and convert those observations into perceptions that influence how we think and behave.[1]

Objectives and SkillsEdit

Topics may include:[2]

  • Basic principles of how humans experience and process stimuli
  • The role of experience and culture in perception
  • The mechanisms of the 5 senses and sensory disorders

Study NotesEdit

  • Behaviour Geneticists - Study our differences and weigh the relative effects of heredity and environment. Testing statements like, "you don't curse as much in school compared to a party".

You have 46 chromosomes, half and half from your mom and dad. You will either be XX (a girl) or XY (a boy). From biggest to smallest, you go from chromosomes [contain DNA], DNA [made up of genes], genes [contain code for a certain protein, determines individual biological development], and proteins.

Transmission of Hereditary CharacteristicsEdit

  • Turner Syndrome - Only occurs in girls---the girl lacks ovaries, pubertal development (like breast enlargement) and has a webbed neck. The chromosome is only "X" rather than "XX". Lack of cognitive development.
  • Klinefelter's Syndrome - The chromosome is "XXY" rather than "XY". Male secondary sex characteristics don't develop. Breasts form.
  • Down Syndrome - Presence of 3 copies of chromosome-21. Mentally retarded and similar faces.
  • Tay-Sachs syndrome - Loss of nervous function and death in the baby.
  • Albinism - Failure to store pigment (skin color), abnormal nerve pathway to the brain, inability to see depth/3-dimensionality with both eyes.
  • PKU - Brain damage, survive only with a special diet (low amounts of phenylalanine) within 30 days of birth. Lack of an enzyme to process amino acids which can build up the poison.
  • Huntington's Disease - Example of a dominant gene (expressed) defect that causes degeneration of the nervous system.
  • Colour blindness - Recessive genes for color blindness are located on the X-chromosome -- therefore, males show color blindness more often from females.
  • Alzheimer - Attributed to a gene on the 21st chromosome (some cases).
  • Genome - Complete instructions for making an organism, containing all genetic material in that organism's chromosomes.

Twin BiologyEdit

  • Identical Twin - Monozygotic (same-sex only)
  • Fraternal Twin - Dizygotic (same/opposite sex)

Twins and ProceduresEdit

Behaviour geneticists effects of shaped and unique environments on total or partial genetic makeup.

Separated twins (identical twins) are crazily similar. Differences between fraternal twins are greater than identical twins. Adopted children are more like their biological parents rather than their adoptive parents.

  • Temperament - Person's stable emotional reactivity and intensity (emotional excitability).
  • Molecular Genetics - Subfield of behaviour genetics that seeks to identify specific genes that are influencing behaviour.
  • Heritability - Refers to the extent to which the differences among people are attributable to genes.

Twin studies are conducted by behaviour geneticists in order to differentiate the influences of genes and shared/unshared environment. Genes can influence traits which affect responses and the environment can affect gene activity.

Heritability and differences in the environment [in regards to behaviour] are inversely related. In one environment, a gene will be expressed but in another environment, it may be dormant.

Epigenetics - Study of influences on gene expression that occur without a DNA change (are certain genetics turned off/on?).