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SENSATION AND PERCEPTION PSYCHOLOGY 215 Version: Nov 24, 2005

WINTER TERM 2006

Instructor: Niko Troje (week 1 ­ 6) Rm: H 344 Phone: 533-6017 E-mail: [email protected] Meetings by appointment

Instructor: Ingrid Johnsrude (week 7 - 12) Rm: H 345 Phone: 533-6009 E-mail: [email protected] Meetings by appointment

TA: Julie Buchan Rm.: H 307 E-mail: [email protected] Office hour: (Further tutorial sessions at exam times, and by appointment) Lectures: Tuesday 8:30 ­ 10:00 Friday 10:00 ­ 11:30

Week 1: 10 Jan. and 13 Jan. Topics: Introduction What is perception? Directness of perception? Light and the eye. Reading: Goldstein Ch. 1 Dawkins Ch. 5 (recommended) Week 2: 17 Jan. and 20 Jan. Topics: Retina Phototransduction Information processing in the retina Lateral geniculate nucleus Striate cortex Reading: Goldstein Ch. 2 and 3 Week 3: 24 Jan. and 27 Jan. Topics: High-level vision Face recognition Psychophysical methods Signal detection theory Reading: Goldstein Ch. 4 Ch. 1: review pp. 8 - 13 App. A: 583 ­ 593 Assignment: In-Class Demonstration (21.1., due: 3. 2.) Week 4: 31 Jan. and 3 Feb. Topics: Perceptual organization Theories of object recognition Colour vision Reading: Goldstein Ch. 5 and 6 Week 5: 7 Feb. and 10 Feb. Topics: Colour and lightness constancy Depth and size Motion perception Reading: Goldstein Ch. 7 and 8 Week 6: 14 Feb. and 17 Feb. Topics: Knowledge-based vision Perception and action Reading: Goldstein Ch. 9 Assignment: Midterm exam (17 Feb.) Reading week

Week 7: 28 Feb. and 3 Mar. Topics: What is sound? How we hear: The ear and the brain Reading: Goldstein Ch. 10 Week 8: 7 Mar. and 10 Mar. Topics: How we hear: frequency and loudness, pitch and timing Making sense of the "auditory scene" Reading: Goldstein Ch. 10 Week 9: 14 Mar. and 17 Mar. Topics: Where did that sound come from? How are two ears better than one? Hearing music and speech Reading: Goldstein Ch. 11 Assignment: In-Class Demonstration (17 Mar., due: 24 Mar.) Week 10: 21 Mar. and 24 Mar. Topics: "Whazzat?" Speech perception Sensing pain, touch, temperature and joint position. Reading: Goldstein Ch. 12, 13 Week 11: 28 Mar. and 31 Mar. Topics: Identifying objects by feel: haptic perception (Guest speaker: Dr Susan Lederman) Gustation and olfaction: Taste and smell I Reading: Goldstein Ch. 13, 14 Week 12: 4 Apr. and 7 Apr. Topics: Gustation and olfaction: Taste and smell II Which way is up? The orienting sense Wrap-up and review Reading: Goldstein Ch. 14, Schiffman Ch 15. Web CT Information To get to the Psyc 215 site go to http://webct.queensu.ca:8080 On the Psyc 215 WebCT page is a copy of this syllabus which provides more details, and provides up-to-date information relating chapters and sections in the text book to the topics of the lectures. We will also post most of the diagrams and pictures presented in the lectures as well as additional material on this site as relevant.

Marking scheme and assignments

Marking scheme Two demonstration assignments (10% of final mark) Presented at the end of class on Friday Jan. 27 (due 1 week later; Friday Feb 3) and on Mar 17 (due 1 week later; Friday Mar 24). Please come to class on those days so you do not miss the demonstration! You will be presented with some perceptual phenomenon in class. You will be asked to write a short essay (3 pages) about it. The essay should describe the phenomenon, explain possible reasons for it, come up with one reasonable hypothesis, and outline an experiment to test this hypothesis. For more details, see below. Midterm (30% of final mark) Presented on Friday, Feb 17, in class period (90 minutes long). The midterm exam will consist of 25 multiple choice questions. In addition, you will choose three out of five short answer questions, and one out of three essay questions. Final Exam (50% of final mark) The final exam will to similar to the midterm but twice as long. It will cover all 12 weeks of the course, with emphasis on the last half and on integration of the first half with the second. It will comprise: · 50 multiple choice questions · three out of a set of five short answer questions · three more out of a second set of five short answer questions · one out of a set of three essay questions · one more out of a second set of three essay questions Please Note: There will be no make-up exams for the demo assignments and the midterm. With a valid medical excuse the percentage of these assignments will be added to your final exam. If you do not have a valid excuse you will receive a mark of 0. NO EXCEPTIONS!

In-Class Demonstration Assignments

Two short demonstrations of a perceptual phenomenon will be presented to you on Jan 27 and Mar 17. Please come to class on those days so you do not miss them! Please answer the following three questions, in a maximum of 3 double-spaced typed pages. This doesn't give you a lot of space, so it's important to be concise and not repeat yourself. Please bring your assignments to class on Feb 3 and Mar 24, or drop them in the box on 2nd floor Humphrey ­ assignments are due by 5pm on the specified day. Please format your paper into three sections:

1. Describe the phenomenon. An essential part of science is to discover and appreciate the phenomenon. You are to describe the perceptual phenomenon such that someone who has not seen it is able to understand what you are talking about. Example: Let's say we showed you the demonstration described on page 45/46 of your text: "Filling in the blind spot". The phenomenon is described well in your text, and so we will not repeat it here. 2. Give a possible reason for the perceptual phenomenon, and develop this reason into a testable hypothesis. You do not have to be absolutely correct in your explanation! However, your explanation must make sense in terms of what you have learned about the field of sensation and perception, and your argument must be logically consistent. Propose a related, original, experimentally testable hypothesis that follows from your explanation of the phenomenon demonstrated in class. Example: You might explain the fact that you are not aware of the blind spot because of the existence of "...some mechanism in the brain that we don't yet understand 'fills in' the place where the image disappears, with whatever visual pattern surrounded the blind spot" This serves as one possible explanation of the phenomenon, and incorporates a testable hypothesis about what is filled in. 3. Give a brief description of an experiment that could test your proposed hypothesis. Include in this section: participants, your predictions, methods, possible analyses (you don't need to go into any statistics, but do explain how you might know if your experiment worked), and conclusions. Note: This is to be a BRIEF and logical description. You need not go into great detail. We simply need to know that you understand the basics of setting up an experiment and that you understand your hypothesis. Example: To test the hypothesis offered in Question 3, you might propose an experiment in which you now determine what participants see in their blind spot when the visual markers used to locate the blind spot (e.g., circle, plus sign) are presented against two very different background patterns: a) a checkerboard, and b) a series of concentric rings. Participants are asked what they see in their blind spot, and are given a choice of four different visual patterns, which include both the checkerboard and the concentric rings. Based on the hypothesis proposed in Question 3, you would therefore predict that when the surround consists of a checkerboard pattern, the checkerboard should be chosen statistically more often than the other three patterns. Using the same logic, when the surround consists of a series of concentric rings, the concentric ring pattern should be chosen statistically more often than the three other patterns. Such results would strongly support your explanation that the brain "fills in" the blind spot with the surrounding pattern. These assignments will be marked based on the following proportions: Question 1: 3 marks Question 2: 5 marks Question 3: 2 marks for a total of 10 marks.

Required readings

E. Bruce Goldstein (2002). Sensation and Perception. (6th edition). Wadsworth-Thompson Learning. H. R. Schiffman (2001). Sensation and Perception (5th edition). John Wiley & Sons Inc. Chapter 15: "The Orienting Sense". We include this since the Goldstein text does not cover the vestibular system. The exams will be based on the Goldstein text book, the Schiffman chapter, and on the lectures. Some topics in the lectures are not covered in the texts, so make sure you attend the lectures. The list of supplemental literature below provides additional background, in case you are interested, or because you missed a lecture and you require other sources to catch up.

Supplemental annotated reference list

Richard Dawkins (1996). Climbing Mount Improbable. W.W. Norton & Company. A wonderful text about how evolution works. Chapter 5 describes the 40 different ways of designing light sensing organs that nature came up with. Mike F. Land (1991) Optics of the eyes of the animal kingdom. In: Cronly-Dillon, J. R. & Gregory, R. L. (eds.) Vision and Visual Dysfunction, Vol. 2, pp. 118-135. A great chapter about the different ways to form an image. Mike F. Land and D.-E- Nilsson (2002) Animal Eyes. Oxford University Press. A wonderful little book on the ecology and evolution light sensing organs in animal kingdom. Nature has engineered a huge number of different solution and some are very bizarre. This book shows them all and is just the right reading for anyone who really wants to be immersed in eyes. David H. Hubel (1995) Eye, Brain and Vision. W H Freeman & Co. Together with Torsten Wiesel, David Hubel received the Nobel Price in 1991 for their ground breaking work on the physiology of the visual cortex. Hubel is Harvard Professor and a great teacher. His book is very readable. It not only summarized up-to-date knowledge about he visual system but also contains historical notes and communicates the excitement that led to the main discoveries about the visual brain. Parts of the book are available online at http://neuro.med.harvard.edu/site/dh/index.html Neil A. Macmillan and C. Douglas Creelman (1991) Detection Theory: A User's Guide. Cambridge University Press. This is a very good book on Signal Detection Theory. If you really get to run psychophysical experiments you don't want to miss it. Pages pp. 7 - 36 Edwin Land (1977) The retinex theory of color vision. Scientific American 237:108-128. This classic paper describes in comprehensive words the experiments that led to the first quantitative theory of colour constancy.

Edward Adelson (2000) Lightness perception and lightness illusions. In: M. S. Gazzaniga. The Cognitive Neurosciences, pp. 339 - 351. Adelson demonstrates and discusses a number of lightness illusions that elucidate the role of both low-level, bottom-up processing and high-level, top-down processing in lightness perception. The paper and the demos are available online at http://persci.mit.edu:16080/gaz/ Richard L. Gregory (1966) Eye and Brain. Princeton University Press. This book is old but still alive, as is its author. Gregory is the chief editor of the journal Perception and still very active. First published in 1966 the book is now available in its 5th edition. It is a relatively short book but still a quite comprehensive text. Nevertheless it is relatively easy reading. A very good summary of many of the topics of our course. Richard H. Masland (2001) The fundamental plan of the retina. Nature Neuroscience 4:877-886. The retina itself is a very sophisticated processing unit. The textbook knowledge mediated in the course can only provide a simplification of this very complex network. If you want to know more about it, go for this up-to-date review article. Richard L. Gregory (1997) Knowledge in perception and illusion Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, B 352:1121-1128. A short and well written article which I really recommend you to read. Sarah-Jayne Blakemore and Jean Decety (2001) From the perception of action to the understanding of intention. Nature Reviews: Neuroscience 2:561-567. Interesting review article which connects the physiology of mirror neurons in prefrontal cortex to cognitive phenomena such as intentionality and "Theory of Mind". G. Rizzolatti, L. Fogassi, and V. Gallese (2001) Neurophysiological mechanisms underlying the understanding and imitation of action. Nature Reviews: Neuroscience 2:661-670. Review article summarizing the work on mirror neurons since their discovery in 1996. R. Plomp (2002). The Intelligent Ear: On the Nature of Sound Perception. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers. This short book concentrates on hearing as a cognitive phenomenon, and describes the processes involved in "framing a faithful perceptual picture of the world of sounds". Kathleen Cullen is a physiologist who studies the vestibular system ­ she's particularly interested in space sickness. She has a good introduction to the vestibular system on her website: http://www.medicine.mcgill.ca/physio/cullenlab/introtovest4.html David V. Smith and Robert F. Margolskee (2001). Making sense of taste. Scientific American. This is a review article on the sense of taste, and is an informative complement to the textbook.

Queen's University has an online subscription to American Scientist magazine: to access it, use the electronic journals link on the Queen's Libraries webpage: http://library.queensu.ca/reference/journals.htm The following articles from American Scientist are relevant to the topics covered in this course: The Design and Function of Cochlear Implants (September-October 2004). Fusing medicine, neural science and engineering, these devices transform human speech into an electrical code that deafened ears can understand. By Michael F. Dormana and Blake S. Wilson. The Gestural Origins of Language (March-April 1999). Human language may have evolved from manual gestures, which survive today as a "behavioral fossil" coupled to speech. By Michael C. Corballis. How the Retina Works (January-February 2003). Much of the construction of an image takes place in the retina itself through the use of specialized neural circuits. By Helga Kolb. Manatees, Bioacoustics and Boats (March-April 2002). Hearing tests, environmental measurements and acoustic phenomena may together explain why boats and animals collide. By Edmund R. Gerstein. Science that Stinks (May-June 2002). The Pentagon's search for the ultimate stink bomb. By Rebecca Sloan Slotnick. Free Will and Free Won't (July-August 2004). Motor activity in the brain precedes our awareness of the intention to move, so how is it that we perceive control? By Sukhvinder S. Obhi, Patrick Haggard. Speech Recognition and Sensory Integration (May-June 1998). A 240-year-old theorem helps explain how people and machines can integrate auditory and visual information to understand speech. By Dominic W. Massaro, David G. Stork. Why We See What We Do (May-June 2002). A probabilistic strategy based on past experience explains the remarkable difference between what we see and physical reality. By Dale Purves, R. Beau Lotto, Surajit Nundy. Laughter (January-February 1996 ). The study of laughter provides a novel approach to the mechanisms and evolution of vocal production, perception and social behaviour. By Robert R. Provine.

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