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14

I think part of the answer to your question is going to include the dopamine "reward" pathway in the basal ganglia. In particular, a leading theory of dopaminergic function is the predictive reward error or reinforcement learning hypothesis. In this theory, dopamine neurons signal expectations about the outcome of particular stimuli. Some key experiments ...


13

Analgesia is the term used for inability to feel pain. Hypoalgesia is the term for low sensitivity to pain. Hereditary sensory neuropathy and Congenital insensitivity to pain are two known syndromes that contain these deficits as their symptoms.


12

As Ben Brocka mentioned, what you're describing is Habituation, which Wikipedia defines as: Habituation is a decrease in an elicited behavior resulting from the repeated presentation of an eliciting stimulus (a simple form of learning. More specifically, it's technically called Neural adaptation. To quote Wikipedia again: Neural adaptation or ...


12

Usually, for something to be 'real', we want it in some reasonable manner to be objective or (because that is extremely vague) at least very consistent across subjective observers. Unfortunately, colour does not satisfy this. Physical basis. As explained very well by @Stop_forgetting_my_account: Physics does not have colour, it just has a continuous ...


11

Yes, this scenario is possible, occurring with certain cases of brain lesions in specific areas of the visual cortex, the fusiform, lingual and posterior parahippocampal gyri. These areas are analogous to what is referred to in primates as V4, or the 4th visual cortex, and are known to be involved (at least partly) in the perception of color (though see ...


11

As @Gray mentioned, the philosophical problem you are interested in is known as the inverted spectrum. Unfortunately, @Gray's claim about no empirical difference is not exactly true. As @ChuckSherrington pointed out, we can have differences in color perception due to brain lesions, but this is cheating in way. We don't have to go this far, we already have ...


11

The human eye is an interesting device. One of the most amazing things it does is to adjust for the brightness, and it can do so over 10 orders of magnitude. From a signal processing perspective it can be explained as follows: There are a few different ways that this is done, but the most basic way is a high pass filter, with a cutoff of about .25-.3 Hz. ...


10

It's essentially shot noise. In optics, shot noise describes the fluctuations of the number of photons detected (or simply counted in the abstract) due to their occurrence independent of each other. This is therefore another consequence of discretization, in this case of the energy in the electromagnetic field in terms of photons. In the case of photon ...


9

Association areas are exactly what you are looking for, actually. For example, the ventral intraparietal (VIP) cortex, located in the inferior parietal lobe (along the right border of the yellow area in the image below), just on the border of the occipital lobe, integrates somatosensory (tactile) and visual information. Image via Wikipedia For an ...


8

I think your intuition might be correct. According to Hal Pashler, there is no real evidence for learning styles. The authors do not state that one particular learning style is applicable to everyone. Instead, they conclude that a particular subject may have a preferred learning style. For example, essay writing would have a preferred "verbal" learning ...


8

Much of the answer will depend on how you define multisensory. Are you most interested in areas of the brain where multiple primary sensory streams converge together to form secondary representations, or are you interested in areas of the brain that simply have access to that kind of information? I will throw in for consideration one of my favorite ...


8

The Wikipedia article no longer makes reference to the phenomenon that you quote (to my inspection), so I'm not entirely sure if that assertion was edited out as an inaccuracy on someone's part. I did find some information on visual perception and high frequency flicker that might point to some of the significance of the 60 Hz refresh rate of a monitor. At ...


8

I think you may be referring to congenital analgesia? Wikipedia defines this as: Congenital insensitivity to pain (CIP), also known as congenital analgesia, is one or more rare conditions where a person cannot feel (and has never felt) physical pain. The conditions described here are separate from the HSAN group of disorders, which have more specific ...


8

On each side of your head, in the middle ear, there is a system of canals in which displacement of a group of hair cells measure the movement along the 3 axes (the canals are tilted a bit back from 90°, so the coordinate system is not identical with that of the head). So, when you move your head around and around as your body "whirls", the cupula of the ...


7

There is a substantial literature on eye tracking. Skill acquisition example One study that I am familiar with and is of some relevance is Study 2 in Lee and Anderson (2000, PDF). Specifically the study used eye tracking tools to examine how visual attention was allocated over time on an air traffic control simulator. The broad finding, consistent with ...


7

It appears that throughout your question you are touching on multiple questions and topics. I will address them in a series of quotes and responses, beginning with the title: Are colors real? They are not physical things. Colors are a form of perception (an abstraction). They exist in your head. In physics the perception of colors is caused by ...


6

Neurobiology is not my field of expertise, but this paper seems relevant: Kent C. Berridge, Chao-Yi Ho, Jocelyn M. Richard, Alexandra G. DiFeliceantonio (2010) The tempted brain eats: Pleasure and desire circuits in obesity and eating disorders. Brain Research, 1350, 43-64. What we eat, when and how much, all are influenced by brain reward mechanisms ...


6

I will split this answer into two parts - first, about sensory immersion as it is defined and scientifically examined. Second, I will try to address specifically what you asked for regarding the effects of sensory overstimulation and overload. Sensory immersion I don't think your definition of sensory immersion is right when you said it's a "deliberate ...


6

Jens' answer is pretty much spot on, but misses the fact, remembered from my undergraduate lectures, that your ears actually partially 'turn off' when you speak (or chew), in what's called the stapedius reflex (wikipedia). The most common reference I've seen for this is Møller (2000), which unfortunately is a book, but I'm sure more information could be ...


6

Short answer Yes, continuous exposure to white noise affects neural responses in the auditory system. First, it can alter the tonotopic map in the auditory cortex. Second, it can lead to reduced responsiveness of the auditory thalamus. Background Note: this answer is based on animal experiments using extreme conditions, namely a continuous noise ...


5

I think this is not a psychological syndrome but just a reflection of the physical procesces. As such it might not be on-topic for this site. Having this said, here is a quick answer. When you hear your own while speaking, the sound source is in a different place than it is, when you hear a recording of your voice through a loudspeaker. In addition, when ...


5

Now I think I have understood your mental model of human perception, I can give you an answer. Correct me if this is not what you meant to ask. If I understood you, you think that the human brain functions like a robotic brain. A sensor captures an image, sends it to the brain (which is comparable to a central processing unit), then the next one, etc. The ...


5

The initial report of men finding women more attractive in red or even with a red background on a photo did receive a lot of press. However, the study has since been done in reverse. Women tend to find red more attractive on men as well... or even with a red background on their photo. Red, rank, and romance in women viewing men. Elliot, Andrew J.; ...


5

Until peer-reviewed data on the topic is published, all we have to go on is blog posts from vision and display researchers. The best posts I've seen so far are: Artal, P. (2012) Is the display resolution of the new iPad adequate for the eye? Artal, P. (2012) What have in common the Apple “Retina” display and our retina? Probably, only the name. ...


5

Furthermore the feelings caused by the "nails on a chalkboard" sound do not at all trigger a fight-or-flight response or put me on edge as a loud noise or something that startles me does. If anything it is almost paralyzing, which seems counter to the evolutionary theory. Yes, I agree, it seems to, however what about the fainting goats? We could have ...


5

I am a bit amazed, but there is, at least for scent as a memory retrieval cue: Aggleton and Waskett (1999): This study determined the extent to which re-exposure to the unique combination of odours present in a museum (the Jorvik Viking Centre in York) aids the recall of a previous visit to the museum, which had typically taken place several years ...



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