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MEng Computer Science (Human Computer Interaction) / Course details

Year of entry: 2021

Course unit details:
Sensation & Perception

Unit code PSYC11322
Credit rating 5
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Division of Psychology and Mental Health
Available as a free choice unit? No

Overview

The course material will be delivered via lectures (with associated e-learning resources) and will be supported with 4 lab-based sessions. In this unit we will follow each sensory system (vision, hearing, touch, taste, smell) from the firing of receptors that detect physical signals in the environment, up to higher level processing in the brain, considering illusions at every level. We will explore the perception of aspects such as brightness, colour, motion, depth, musical pitch, texture, pain and flavour. Finally, we will examine how sensory information processing links to behaviour and motor control.

 

Aims

The unit aims to provide students with an overview of the basic elements of sensation and perception and to introduce them to philosophical, experimental and biological approaches.  Students will learn about the fundamental aspects of vision and other sensory systems and will develop practical research experience through laboratory work.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding:

Recognise the complementary but different roles played by bottom-up and top-down processing in how we interpret the world; Demonstrate an understanding of sensation and perception in the different sensory modalities, from receptors to higher level processing; Describe and understand the methods used to investigate sensation and perception; Recognise the limitations imposed by particular design decisions.

Intellectual Skills:

Understand and compare the empirical basis for different theories of sensation and perception; Apply knowledge of sensation and perception to interpret research findings and everyday situations.

Practical Skills:

Appraise empirical data; Conduct experimental laboratory work using psychological methods; Independently gather and organise material from various sources; Present experimental work in writing conforming to APA standards.

Transferable skills and personal qualities:

Present information, ideas and arguments in written form with due regard to the target audience and discipline conventions; Sustain and develop cogent and coherent arguments; Work in a group to solve problems.

Syllabus

Week 1:

Introduction - Rebecca Champion

Week 2:

The Eye and Retina - Rebecca Champion

Week 3:

Receptive Fields - Rebecca Champion

Week 4:

Visual Cortex - Rebecca Champion

Week 5:

Form Perception - Luke Jones

Week 6:

Depth Perception - Luke Jones

Week 7:

Colour Perception - Luke Jones

Week 8:

Motion Perception - Luke Jones

Easter

Week 9:

Sound and the Ear - Ellen Poliakoff

Week 10:

Touch and Pain - Ellen Poliakoff

Week 11:

Chemical senses and multisensory perception

Week 12:

Illusions - Luke Jones

Teaching and learning methods

This course will consist of 18 hours of lectures

E-learning will be provided through Blackboard. In particular, quizzes and Wikis, visuals, video clips, references to news items, interesting case studies and debates whenever possible. A monitored discussion board will be provided.

Knowledge and understanding

Students should be able to:

Recognise the complementary but different roles played by top-down and bottom-up processing in how we interpret the world; Demonstrate an understanding of sensation and perception in the different sensory modalities, from receptors to higher level processing; Describe and understand the methods used to investigate sensation and perception; Recognise the limitations imposed by particular design decisions.

Intellectual skills

Students should be able to:

Understand and compare the empirical basis for different theories of sensation and perception; Apply knowledge of sensation and perception to interpret research findings and everyday situations.

Practical skills

Appraise empirical data; Conduct experimental laboratory work using psychological methods; Independently gather and organise material from various sources; Present experimental work in writing conforming to APA standards.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

Students should be able to:

Present information, ideas and arguments in written form with due regard to the target audience and discipline conventions; Sustain and develop cogent and coherent arguments; Work in a group to solve problems.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written exam 100%

Feedback methods

Students will receive a grade and can request a summary of their performance after the exam board

Recommended reading

'Sensation and Perception' by B. Goldstein.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 18
Independent study hours
Independent study 32

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Luke Anthony Jones Unit coordinator

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