Everything we feel, think, and do depends on sensations and perception. In this module of the course, we will further explore the field of perception, focusing on visual and auditory perception. We first discuss the processes involved in organizing visual sensations into coherent objects and then assigning meaningful category labels to these objects (lectures 1 and 2). We then talk about the mechanisms of attention that select certain aspects of a scene for further processing while ignoring others (lectures 3 and 4). It is often said that humans are visual animals, but a world where nothing makes a sound is hard to imagine. Accordingly, the final two lectures cover the basic qualities of sound waves and the basic operating characteristics of the auditory system (lecture 5) as well as cues to sound localization and processes involved in auditory scene analysis (lecture 6).
By the end of the course, students should:
- Understand how midlevel vision organizes the elements of a visual scene into groups that we can then recognize as objects
- Understand that attention to an object is critical in recognition of that object
- Know about experimental paradigms to study and model attention
- Understand the basic physics and psychophysics of hearing and how we use auditory information to learn about our environment
Either of the following two textbooks would be fine. Earlier or later editions are also fine. You do not need to take both from the library.
Wolfe, J. M., Kluender, K. R., & Levi, D. M. (2012). Sensation & Perception. (3rd Edition). Sinauer Associates. (Alternatively: Wolfe, J. M., Kluender, K. R., & Levi, D. M. (2014). Sensation & Perception. (4th Edition). Sinauer Associates.)
Yantis, S., & Abrams, R. A. (2017). Sensation and Perception. (2nd Edition). Worth Publishers.