Psych M.D. - Perceptual Adaptation


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Term: Perceptual Adaptation
Definition (Myers): In vision, the ability to adjust to an artificially displaced or even inverted visual field (p. 249)[1]
Definition (alternative): Perceptual adaptation is a concept based on sensory awareness and how it changes to fit changing stimuli.[2]
Contextual explanation:
Basically, it's how we adapt to changes around us.
  1. Threshold impression (degree of stimulation required for awareness of a stimulus to register)
  2. Continued contact causes sensory receptors to used to the presence of the change.
  3. Receptors have adapted and become less sensitive and less aware of the stimulus.
Space, time, body schema, auditory and visual adaptations are examples of everyday perceptual adaptations.

Spatial Adaptations and Body Schemas
Spatial orientation is required for a person to move as on a hill or in a crowded room while body schemas relate with a person's awareness of his/her body image and where they are positioned in relation to the object around her.
Example: When you move to the center of a room in a party, you become adjusted to your surroundings.

Time Adaptations
During the day, people structure their activities according to the day's length and survival needs. Also, the body's biological clock (circadiam rhythms) affect one's sleep cycles and overall energy levels.
Example: If you sleep at 2 am every day, then you won't be able to go to sleep easily at 10 pm.

Visual Adaptations
Visual adaptations deal with one's ability to adjust to changes in light intensity (bright or dark).
Example: If you came from a dark room and entered a room that was lit, then your eyes would be blinded momentarily but would eventually get used to the light and vice versa.

Brain Plasticity
Also known as neuroplasticity, brain plasticity reflect the brain's ability to acquire new knowledge and skill through instruction or experience.[2]
Related terms and concepts:
Perceptual Adaptation - 1[2]
[3]

Related websites:
Sources:
  1. Myers, D. G. (2004). Psychology. New York, New York: Worth Publishers.
  2. Jeanty, J What Is Perceptual Adaptation?. Retrieved September 21, 2009, from eHow Web site: http://www.ehow.com/about_5141990_perceptual-adaptation.html
  3. LadyTigerLily, (2007, October 11). AP Psychology Experiments: Inversion glasses.. Retrieved September 21, 2009, from YouTube Web site: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lpKEHEuJ2oQ
Edited by: Eungi
Date of last edit: October 16, 2009



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