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  Opponency theory:

The idea that perceived colour depends, in human vision, upon the balance of activity in mechanisms tuned to complementary colours.

Optic array:

The complex but structured pattern of light rays that arrives at any given point in the world and which is, in principle, the visual stimulus available to an observer at that point.

Orientation selectivity:

A property of many cells in the visual cortex, where the cell responds to stimuli of one orientation better than to stimuli of other orientations.


The awareness in the infant of different tastes and smells which helps it identify care givers such as its own mother.

Perceptual model:

An internal representation of the world, based upon prior knowledge, that can explain the current pattern of physical stimulation.

Periodic waveform:

A repetitive waveform consisting of a sequence of identical cycles.

Personal norms:

In the theory of reasoned action, those determinants of behaviour such as feelings of moral obligation.


The set of habitual attitudes and styles of interacting with people and the world around us which the child acquires as part of its development.

Persuasive communications:

In the theory of attitude change, those messages that attempt to change peoples minds despite being different from the participants initial attitudes.

Phase change:

In environmental cognition, the boundaries on a map visualised by an individual, such as where land gives way to water.


In the study of personality, a method of studying conscious, mental experiences in relation to specific events.


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