Course Description

Course Name

Sensation and Perception

Session: VDNS3121

Hours & Credits

18 Credit Points

Prerequisites & Language Level

Taught In English

  • There is no language prerequisite for courses at this language level.

Overview

How the brain constructs reality.

An exploration of the sensory systems

How does the brain construct reality? Sight, sound, touch, smell, taste - these are the processes that allow us to interact with the world and with each other, ultimately enabling us to build our own individualised versions of reality. In this paper we explore the amazing capabilities of the sensory systems, examining the physiology and psychology behind sensation and perception. All five of the classic sensory systems will be covered; additional lecture topics include sensory deprivation, psychedelic drugs and the phenomenon of synaesthesia.

Learning Outcomes
-A foundational understanding of the sensory systems
-An appreciation of the roles of nature and nurture in perceptual development
-Recognition of the ever-increasing interplay between technology and sensation/perception

Course Structure
This course presents a survey of the following topics:
-Psychophysics
-Smell
-Taste
-Touch
-Audition
-Vestibular Sensation
-Vision
-Clinical Case Studies
-Sensory Deprivation
-Synaesthesia

Each week's topic will be presented in lecture, and then a short supplementary reading will be assigned. One week's reading may consist of a few newspaper articles, while another week's reading may be a chapter from a popular science book; all readings will be accessible via Blackboard.

The final mark consists of 50% internal assessment (two 25% in-class tests) and 50% external assessment (one 50% exam).

Textbooks
Reference Text: Goldstein, E.B. (2010). Sensation and Perception (8th ed.). Belmont: Wadsworth.

*Course content subject to change