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Sensation I: The Logic of Sensory Systems



1. The Empiricists and their view on the origins of knowledge: we can know reliably only that which come to us through the senses.

        a.  John Locke (1632 1704) the mind of a newborn baby is a blank slate

        b.  George Berkeley (1685 1753)

        c. David Hume (1711 1776)
 

2. Distal and proximal stimuli
 

3. The overall logic of the senses: According to evolutionary theory, our senses have evolved in a certain way to serve a purpose, namely for us to fit well our niche, our particular environment.
 

4. The question of energy transduction:

HOW DOES OUTSIDE INFORMATION GET TRANSFORMED INTO A FORM THAT CAN BE USED BY THE ORGANISM?
 

5. Encoding for sensory intensity (bright vs. dim light) and sensory quality (color vs. sound)
 

6. An overview of the senses:
 

CONCLUSION: Senses are remarkably complex information gathering systems.