College of Education
Dept of Psychology and Counseling
Course Syllabus
PSY 4150 - Sensation and Perception
3 Hours

Text (Required): Goldstein, E. B. (2010). Sensation and perception (8th ed.). Pacific Grove, CA: Wadsworth-Cengage Learning..
Book Website

Course Description: Prerequisite: PSYC 3500, 3600 with "C" or better. PLEASE NOTE: You must have these prerequisites or you will be dropped from the course Ė No exceptions. This course is an overview of the senses and how sensory information is integrated so perception can occur.

Education Outcomes Specific to Psychology

3. design, run, and analyze research studies and write reports using APA style

5. identify plausible psychosocial and biological principles that influence behavior and cognition, given a particular context or situation

6. use appropriately the technical language of the science of psychology in oral and written communication

11. use appropriate computer technology to complete relevant assignments


Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the student

1.      Will be able to explain the area of psychophysics and how it relates the physical world to perception.

2.      Will be able to describe the physical structures of each sensory system and explain how these physical structures influence our perception.

3.      Will be able to trace the neural pathways of each sensory system.

4.      Will have a working knowledge of the major theories and paradigms of perception and be able to critically evaluate the quality of these theories.

Will conduct and write up an experiment using APA formatCourse Activities/Assignments/Requirements

4 Exams. 4 Exams. Each exam will be based on material from the class lectures and the textbook. Before each exam, the questions will be posted on BlazeView. All exams are a combination of short answer and essay questions. Each exam will be worth 80 points (8 short answers out of ? and 2 out of 3 essays). MAKE-UP POLICY: If for some reason you must miss a test, you must notify me as soon as possible (either by telephone, stopping by, or e-mail). You need to have a valid excuse that can be verified with documentation (Gee, I forgot is NOT a valid excuse). You must take it BEFORE I give back the exams to the class and you must take it on the date and time that we decide (i.e. no making up the make-up or changing your mind). You cannot make up the test during class time and you cannot have more than one make-up exam. If you are caught cheating, you will fail this course.

1 Experiment. See Experiments

Course Evaluation
4 exams @ 80 points
Proposal 50
Full Paper 100
470-423 B 422-376 C 375-329 D 328-282 F <281

Attendance: While I do not have a strict attendance policy, it is expected that you will attend class regularly. If for some reason you miss a class, it is your responsibility to find out any information that was discussed in class. When in class, I ask that you be courteous to myself and to others. Refrain from constant chit-chat, note-passing, and playing around on the computer. If you come in late or plan on leaving early, sit near the door so as not to disturb others. Please make sure your cell phones are off and beepers on vibrate. In addition, I can see when you are doing other work besides mine - I donít want to see it. It is especially annoying when people who are doing other things then ask questions that obviously indicate they were not paying attention. My other pet peeve is when people walk into class late and want to turn something in or pick something up after I start class. Again, donít do that, please.

One final note - if you are having difficulty, do not wait until the end of the semester to come talk to me and plead for me to give you a C when your grade is an F or to give you extra credit. Please talk to me as soon as possible if you are having personal difficulties or are having a problem with course material.

Special Needs Statement: VSU, in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities act will make accommodations for students who require special assistance because of a disability. If you require some assistance, do not hesitate to make me aware of your situation, but you must also register with Special Services in Nevins Hall.

Dr. Deb Briihl
Rm 18 Phone 333-5994 or Ė5930

Hello All! This is a list of websites related to S&P. If you find a link that no longer works or a really nifty link that I don't have, please e-mail me.

Introduction to S&P / Ch 1

How the nervous system works (To help answer question 2)
This is site that gives basic neural anatomy and how it works.
Here is a biopysch tutorial page

This is a group of pictures and sounds of a spinal cord neuron responding to various stimuli strengths.

*Some basic pictures and notes1 and notes2 about the neuron and the brain.

Psychophysics / Ch 2
Still lost with Signal Detection Theory? Here are some detailed notes from Stanford. Here is another site with some descriptions and an experiment or try the tutorials. Here is a website that shows how it is used to study search engines. And another that applies it to memory. And the picture that I showed you in class - is it Mary (S+N) or a waterstain (N)?

*Some basic notes about psychophysics

The visual system / Ch 3
*Some basic notes about light and the eye
*Differences between rods and cones and parvo and magno cells.
*Some notes about the brain pathway
For a discussion on the wave properties of light (including reflection, etc.), look here. This site contains a discussion on color mixing (additive and subtractive)

If you want eye diagrams, explanations of color vision, description of dark adaptation, try The Joy of Visual Perception. This is a web book all about vision. Or, try dissecting a cow's eye on your own.

Some wonderful examples of how our brain "fills in" our blind spot. This really demonstrates top down processing (make sure you try out ALL of the examples).

Receptive fields don't make any sense to you? Check out Sensation and Perception tutorials. It has info on receptive fields of the eye and the brain. If that still didn't help, try this site.

More information on various visual disorders as well as a bunch of useful links can be found at the Kanolinska Institutet. The A.A.O./Eyecare America has a list of useful websites and materials and a museum of vision.

Liden's site Visionary contains term definitions and even has a section with a brief description on the cortical areas of the brain. If the buttons don't appear on the side (you just see squares), each square is a letter, so just press on a square to get the dictionary.

Here is a good discussion of the basic visual pathway (includes a discussion on crossover) and the central visual pathway (includes pictures of the LGN with parvo and magno pathway locations, a discription of how you get simple cells, etc.) - Washington University School of Medicine Neuroscience Tutorial. Or, try this site by Mather, which is a good overview of the visual cortex (and that great stained visual cortex picture by Tootell et al.)
This site of Human visual cortical areas contains fMRI pictures of V1-V4 in humans. Please note that the pictures A and C are smaller ones on top of B and D.
A very basic outline of the visual pathway in the brain is located here.

Some useful (?) numbers about the visual system.

Some interesting visual problems

Beyond our class, but take a look at some of the work in visual prosthesis by MIVIP

Basic visual functions / Ch 4
More information about Mach Bands can be found at the University of Toronto website. Other related lateral inhibition links can be found at M. Bach's site (where there is a link to my favorite illusion - the scintillating grid).

How television works - you need to understand how the brain breaks down information, how motion perception works, and how color perception occurs.

The Dark Adaptation curve as it relates to pigment regeneration.

Color / Ch 7
Try Seeing, Hearing, and Smelling web site for information on color perception - particularly the trichromatic theory and the Retinex theory, plus info on colorblindness.

Another example of Land's retinex theory can be found here.

For an odd collection of color information, take a look at the Color Matters page. This has examples of how color can impact other aspects of our lives.

*Basic notes about trichromatic and opponent process theory. My description of DeValois and DeValois (1993) description of Opponent Processing.

This includes diagrams of what the neural coding in the eye would look like.

Issues about color blindness can be found here and here. Look here for a discussion of issues of color blindness as it relates to web design. Or check out this website to see what colors can be perceived. If you click on this site you can test to see if your website is compatable.

The auditory system / Ch 9
*Notes on basic auditory function and ear.
*Notes on pitch and loudness perception
*Notes on sound localization
*Notes on auditory pathway

A web book on neurobiology - but has the picture of the traveling wave.

A history of hearing aids. From the AAofO

Want even MORE knowledge about the auditory system - try the Virtual Tour of the Ear.
This site on hearing and balance can also help out.
A very basic description of what sound is (including amplitude and frequency) can be found at the Canadian Science museum.
The exploratorium has a section on resonance with sound bites.

This site contains examples of Shepard's tones and the Tritone paradox - you can even modify the illusions. The Illusion Forum site contains even more auditory illusions, but most require shockwave to work. Finally, this demo site contains a number of illusions with graphic illustrations.

Examples of Fourier analysis can be found at Shaw's page on  Sound Page Exploring Sound. Scan up the page for information about Fourier analysis (sound wave and frequency spectrum).

Brief bios of vonBekesy and Wever.

For more information about equal loudness contours, try this site.

Applying this information to stereos - This site contains information about how microphone set-up can produce the movement of sound. Crutchfield has a bit on home theatre as does HowStuffWorks.
For a detailed description of Room Acoustics, try this site.

The Music Injury website has some information on how loud music can cause hearing loss.
For information on the debate on cochlear implants, check out these sites.
This site (Univ. of Texas) contains samples of what it would sound like using a cochlear implant with 1 through 8 channels and embedded in the cochlea 22 to 25 mm.
About discusses the ethics of cochlear implants. I have it linked to the general page - go to the section on ethics. There are a number of really good articles.
This site describes how two different types work.

Basic auditory functions, Pattern perc, Language / Ch 10,11
Notes on speech

Try the Acoustic Ecology handbook. Click on a letter to get a list of words related to sound and their descriptions.

An example of categorical perception can be found at Ola Andersson's site.

Models of the vocal tract and the sounds they make can be found by clicking on the Vocal Vowels section at the Exploratorium. Also, try Ladle Rat Rotten Hut. There are other need illusions at this site, but most require Shockwave.
Pictures of different spectrograms can be found at the Center for Spoken Language Understanding at the Univ. of Oregon.
 Other information about speech sounds can be found at Dillian's PhonResources page.

Information about sound and hearing - do not let the title Physics and Psychophysics of Music mislead you - this is an excellent site for information about hearing

Dr. Duda's page contains information about depth perception of sound and auditory scene analysis. It is a bit complex, but you should be able to read and understand most of the material.

How this relates to music can be found here. Just look at the links at the bottom.

A bit on localization of auditory signals (include some on owls and bats).

This website has a sample of a tone with the fundamental frequency and without (to show students the issues of the missing fundamental frequency). The main website has detailed notes on hearing.

Smell / Ch 13
*Notes on olfaction
An overview of olfaction can be found at Leffingwell and Associates web site. This contains VERY detailed information on the binding proteins and how they work, but it does contain a general discussion of olfaction.

The monell website has information on smell and taste.

Information on the Vomeronasal organ. This particular organ in the nose may be used for pheromone communication.

For a quick overview of the olfactory and gustatory senses, try Jim McGarrick's site.
For a megasite of information on smell and taste, go to the ChemoReception website.

Here is a site that shows how humans can use the dog's sense of smell for a variety of different tasks.

Here is a site on anosmia. Some of the info isn't correct, but it is written by an individual who has no sense of smell. Here is another site written by Dr. Wuensch (an experimental psychologist). Many links.

The Sense of Smell Institute

Taste / Ch 13
*Notes on taste
Make sure you check out the gustatory sites listed under the previous section.

What is a supertaster? What would their tongue look like?
The different tastes we experience, the layout of the tongue, and the pathway to the brain can be found here.

The taste lab (Bartoshuk et al). They are creating a website filled with taste information (supertasters, burning mouth syndrome, taste map myth, etc.)

A bit about the tongue taste map myth and how it got started.

And you thought S&P wouldn't relate to anything useful to you! Check out this site on beer that demonstrates how taste, smell, temp, vision, etc. can all work together to influence our sense of flavor. Here's a site about apples that does the same thing. And one on how wine glasses can affect your experience as well as another site on wine and temperature (although acid is a taste?). And a quick explanation of why peppers are hot and other neat things about peppers (also look here). Some other foods that you might be sensitive to if you are a supertaster. And how to use dye to determine if you are a supertaster.

Umami (or glutamate) information. History, in foods, FAQs, etc. Here is a bit more from Wine Spectator. BTW, this on-line magazine has a lot of information that shows the linkage between taste and many of the other senses (for example, this one on wine tasting..

Somatosensory System  and Vestibular system/ Ch 12
*Notes on the cutaneous senses (touch, kinesthesis, temp, pain)
*Notes on the Vestibular System

Remember the great site I mentioned earlier for visual information in the brain? Well, they also have info on the somatosensory and vestibular systems too. Some basic anatomy information can be found here or here.
Here is a powerpoint lecture with slides (just go to the appropriate section).

Some information (with theories, references and, case studies) on phantom limb can be found here and the amputee web site.

Information on dizziness and the vestibular system from John Hopkins research on Hearing and Balance - look under clinical topics.

The following sites demonstrate some of the problems astronauts have in
space with vision and their vestibular systems.
Site - What happens to visual processing of information in space?
How weightlessness works (and how it can affect the body).

Information about leprosy (Hansen's disease). Part of the problem is a loss of the sense of touch.

Distance and Size Perception / Ch 6
*Notes on monocular and binocular vision.
Looking for examples of pictorial cues in art?
Also, look back at The Joy of Visual Perception. This has information on depth perception, the constancies, and motion perception

Some useful websites that explain how stereograms (binocular disparity) work are Magic Eye.

Form Perception / Ch 5
For examples of figure/ground, motion illusions, size constancy, stereograms, afterimages, and use of shadows, go to Illuionsworks. Click on the advanced level for descriptions of why these effects occur.
For other examples of figure/ground, try Dr. Hoffman's site. Here you can find the vase/face, rabbit/duck, Necker cube, Koffka's crosses, Kanizsa trianges, illusory squares, Morinage figures, Schroder's staircase, etc. All of these are examples of figure/ground distinctions. Other cool demos include the neon disk illusion, the Adelson illusion (simultaneous contrast), and stroboscopic motion.

Artists that really has shown how our perception of figure-ground can change as a function of what we are looking at in a painting
Escher - Encounter, Day and Night, Fish and Boats, Mosaic 2, etc.
Try this Bev Doolittle or this one - look at Eagle Heart, The Forest has Eyes, Music in the Wind, etc.

Perceptual Constancies / pp 101-105,160-161,196-201,238-241,417-418
Check websites given earlier on Distance and Form Perception and under color perception for Land's retinex theory

Here is a site on size constancy. This site gives a description of the Ponzo and the Moon illusion with explanations.

Also take a look at this web site. It includes descriptions of lightness, shape, and size constancies and pictures.

A site on simultaneous contrast. Here is another one.

Perception of Motion / Ch 8
*Notes on real and motion illusions
Check websites given earlier on Distance and Form Perception. If you have Quicktime installed on your computer, you can run some of these motion demos by George Mather.

Here are some great demos of biological motion.

Information about the waterfall illusion can be found at this web site. A variation using spirals can be found here.

Development of Perc / Ch 14
This site shows how we can use computer models to help us understand how we develop vision.

To see the difference between the lens of a 79 year old (top) and a 39 year old (bottom), click here.and go down midway through the page. Notice the yellowing in the top lens. Also look at the Monet painting.

Other cool sites - Have children? Want to explain to them what you are doing in class? Try some of these experiments from the Neuroscience for Kids homepage. You might also try the Think Quest Junior pages or the 5 sense web site.

Want to see what the various parts and receptors of the eye, ear, nose, tongue, and muscle look like? Here are some photos.

How about a bit of history of vision research?

Want to know how dogs see the world? Dogvision awaits. Here is a written detailed description. And just so those cat lovers aren't feeling slighted here is Catvision.
Here is a site that shows what squirrels, sharks, turtles (and a link to bees) might see.

Websites with entire course notes, explanations, etc. So, if my explanation didn't work and the book didn't help, wandering around some of these sites may give some information.
University of Toronto PSY280
Dr. Murphy's website
Krantz's website - I have his demos linked in other places, but this lists them all.
Lammer's website - just vision

Because I always get questions about this - ESP links.
David Myer's page

Some notes from a S&P course

Stuff from the S&P tutorials - info on size constancy, receptive fields, afterimages, fourier analysis, SDT, Gestalt laws of organization, and motion.
Also try ScienceNet - there are tons of questions that have been answered - not all are related to S&P, but many are and they give quick, easy to read answers. You might also try Kimball's biology pages.
Some additional readings that relate to S&P posted by Walker
Other Sensation and Perception links from the Online Health directory

Rutgers Sensation and Perception class
Stanford S&P class (with notes and figures)
McCourt's S&P class (with notes)

Even though Psychology 261 is a Physiological Psychology web site, it has a lot of useful stuff for sensation and perception.
The author of the book (Foley's) web site.

Synesthesia - This is an interesting phenomenon, where the sensory experience seems mixed up (like seeing sounds)
The Synesthetic Experience  - a collection of interesting links, first hand accounts, etc.

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