Stop Sign Psychology

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Although Melissa claims that she did not see the stop sign, it is possible to describe the path of visual sensation involved in seeing the stop sign. We must first begin by tracing the path of light through the eye. Light rays enter the eye through the cornea. The cornea “bends light waves so that the image can be focused on the retina” (Baird 73). The next part of the eye is the iris, which controls the pupil’s size. The pupil changes size depending on the amount of light in the environment based on the iris’ opening. After the light moves through the cornea and pupil, the light travels through the eye to the retina by the lens. The lens will change its shape in order to bring objects into focus for the retina. The retina contains “photoreceptor…show more content…
It was stated that the stop sign had just recently been added into the neighborhood. Since Melissa had previous experiences and expectations in the neighborhood as well as partaking in a distracting phone call, it is very understandable to see how Melissa might have “missed” the stop sign. Based on previous experiences that she had, Melissa might not have thought twice about looking out for a stop sign. The book states “top-down processing enables us to use preexisting knowledge to create a coherent image in our brains” (Baird 80). That statement supports the idea that Melissa’s preexisting knowledge of the neighborhood could have created an image in her mind that showed the street without a stop sign ultimately making Melissa miss the stop…show more content…
Although Melissa might have believed that it was possible to both talk on the phone and drive, brain scan studies on auditory senses have demonstrated that “when we focus on a noise, areas in the brain specialized for auditory processing increase in activity, while areas for other forms of sensory information, such as visual recognition, decrease” (Baird 80). Because there is limited circulation of blood in the brain, it is easy to see why it is hard for your brain to focus on multiple areas when it is supplying one area with all of its resources. One final statement from the book by Carnegie Mellon that sealed the deal that multi-tasking is not beneficial is “brain power decreases when we try to multitask, even when different parts of the brain are used for different tasks. This explains why talking on a cell phone inhibits our driving ability (Strayer & Johnson, 2001) (Baird

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