Meeting Times: Class: MTWF: 2:00 PM Laboratory: T:  8-10 AM or R: 1 PM-3 PM
Instructor: John H. Krantz Office: Science Center 151
Texts: Sensation and Perception
by Schwartz & Krantz (Draft).  Other materials as provided.
Phone: x7316
Click here to see my calendar

Announcements

Office Hours: 
TBD
Others by appointment

Mar 13,2014

Send me the data from the following experiments by 4:00 pm today.

  • Frequency Response of Ear
  • Sound Half as Loud
  • Equal-Loudness Contours

For Frequency Response of the Ear and Equal Loudness contours remember to run all conditions. There should be no blank spaces in the data.

Mar 5, 2014

  1. Homework:

    1. Find painting or create photograph that violates size constancy.

      1. If do photograph, create two photographs

        1. 1 shows the illusion

        2. 1 shows how the illusion is made

    2. Painting cannot be a simple illusion.
    3. Send to me by Monday at 4 pm.

    4. Be ready to discuss in class the next day – do not need to send me your explanation.

Feb 17, 2014

  1. Homework
    1. Find a painting that illustrates the use of monocular/pictorial depth cues
    2. In groups of 4-5
    3. Send in painting by Thursday at 3:00 pm.
    4. Be prepared to present Friday in class.

Feb 10, 2014

    1. New Data: Motion Sensitivity and Retinal Location: 5 positions Data by Tonight 7 pm
    2. Motion Examples
      1. In groups of 3-4
      2. Answer one of the following questions with three or four others.
        • Be prepared to present in class on Monday
          • Send example or draft by 3:00 pm Thursday
          • Email me before tomorrows class with your group's three top choices. Will do only one
          • First come first serve
        1. Explain how Film Works to create the illusion of motion
        2. What does the motion aftereffect tell us about seeing still?
        3. The spiral illusion works on your face after viewing a spiral. Why?
        4. Explain the Phi Phenomenon and give one real world example.
        5. What do the Law of Common Fate, Structure from Motion and Biological Motion illustrations all have in common?
        6. Think of a real world example of the difference in motion sensitivity and acuity in the periphery.
        7. Or illustration on YouTube or other video clip of one or more of these phenomena – but the video cannot be so named

Feb 3, 2014

  1. In groups of 3 to 4, Find a picture that:
    1. Options
      1. picture to show use of complementary colors to increase contrast or
      2. Picture that uses color aftereffects, correctly and incorrectly
    2. Send to me by 3 pm on Thursday. Be prepared to present on Friday or Monday
  2. In groups of 3 to 4, get together:
    1. First: figure out the primary colors as you were taught them in school
    2. Second: find a color printer, what color inks do they use?
    3. Third, get a magnifying class or jeweler’s loupe and look at a white area on a monitor. What color dots make it up.
    4. Fourth, how do all these fit together, if they
    5. Email your ideas to me by Tonight at 9.
    6. Be prepared to discuss in class on Tomorrow.

Jan 15, 2014

First Part:
Do spatial summation experiment in the old media and send data to me by Thursday, Jan 16 at 3:00 pm 

  • Dot Distance: move to closest then move up two steps using arrow button.

Second Part: Do one of the following questions with three (or four) others.
Email me suggested answer by Tuesday, Jan 21, at 4. Present in class next Friday, Jan 23. Email me group and your first three choices. I will tell you the question you get to do. First come, first served.

  • Explain why tail lights are red – how does that color help the driver following see at night
  • Why are the blue headlights that are one some cars a really bad idea
  • What is different about looking at red LED clock lights at night and the blue LCD lights at night – why?
  • Take a red object and a blue object outside – say to point. View as dusk falls to twilight – what changes happen in them and why?
  • Why can you write out words with sparklers at night?
  • Why can’t you watch a regular television outside during the day?
  • What are crucial factors in deciding the size of dots that make up computer screens?
  • Is it possible to see wheels rotating backwards in the real world?
  • What environmental conditions make it hard to see electronic displays in cars and why?

Jan 6, 2014
I hope that all of you had a wonderful summer.   I am really looking forward to this class.  I hope that you have as much fun as I know I will.

Look here for future announcements about the course

Introduction

General Description:

Welcome you to Sensation and Perception and thank you for joining me on this journey into both the mystery and knowledge that we have of an aspect of our mind that most of us take for granted: our senses.  Broadly speaking, the study of sensation and perception is the study of how an organism's brain knows what is going on in the world around it. To help you appreciate the questions that scientists studying sensation and perception struggle with, think of the captain of a ship far out to sea. What does that captain need to know to safely sail the ship? The captain must be able to detect obstacles, other ships, and weather conditions such as storms that may effect the operation and safety of the ship. To perform these functions, the captain has radar, sonar and other sensor systems to gain information about the ocean environment. In addition, the captain must know about the operating condition of the ship, such as fuel level and temperature of the engine. Sensors have been placed in the ship to give the captain the needed information. A limited analogy can be drawn between your brain or mind and the captain.  In the same manner as the captain, your brain does not have direct access to the information necessary to behave in an intelligent and effective manner. Thus, our sensory systems such as vision and audition are like the radar and sonar which provides necessary information to guide behavior.  You also have sensory systems that obtain information about the state of your body such as your position relative to the ground.

This course is part of the Natural World LADR.  Let me quote from the Hanover College catalog for a description of the liberal arts:

The liberal arts are arts suited for free people. The purpose of a liberal arts education is to enable such people to cultivate humanity, to realize their full potential as human beings and as citizens. Accordingly, the liberal arts are designed to equip individuals to develop and integrate every dimension of their own humanity--physical, intellectual, artistic, ethical, and spiritual--and to understand and respect the humanity of others. (p. 8)

This course fits this description in many ways.  I want to highlight only a few.  First, to develop ourselves, we must know ourselves.  Our senses are among the most misunderstood aspects of our human nature.  Thus, in this course will be working against a large body of misunderstanding.  Second, issues in this course are applicable to the way we interact with art and technology in the world around us.  As such, this course can help us integrate knowledge from many areas into a more coherent view of the world and ourselves.

Objectives

Due to the fact that this course plays many different types of roles in the college, I have grouped the objectives into different categories. Depending upon the reason you are in this course, you may not see a need for all of the objectives. However, the objectives all work together and the first two sets of objectives actually are vehicles to support the higher level objectives which are the real reason for taking any course.

Course Specific Objectives:

The specific objective of this course is to develop your understanding of how our sensory systems operate to gain information about the world around us. One of the difficulties with teaching Sensation and Perception is that we all intuitively know what we see, hear, etc. In addition, we have an implicit trust that what our senses tell us about is physical reality. This belief is held despite most people having extensive experience with illusions which illustrate the indirect and interpretive nature of the information our senses provide. You will have to leave many of these intuitions behind, because there are many surprises in how our sensory systems actually operate.

Role of Course in the Major:

In the psychology major, this course is one of the options for a basic or 200 level experimental psychology course.  Experimental psychology traditionally has referred to those areas of psychology that have emphasized the laboratory and experimental methods for its research.  Thus, areas such as sensation and perception, cognition, and learning have fallen under this general rubric.  Many fundamental findings that drive most of our speculation about the nature of the human mind are based on findings in these areas.

As a result of this placement of sensation and perception in the major, the course is designed to give you a fundamental introduction to experimental methods and ideas using this topic.  The other course at this level of the major is PSY162 Neuropsychology.  Together these courses are often grouped under the rubric of biological psychology and, thus, present how biological knowledge and approaches have been used to facilitate understanding in psychology.  So while there are many non-biological approaches to sensation and perception and they will be covered, there is a need to make sure you understand the basics of the nervous system and how this basic understanding yields important insights for psychology.

This course also needs to provide a foundation of basic experimental methods as used in the laboratory areas of psychology.  In the advanced experimental course in psychology you will be expected to design your own experimental project in the area of that course and to execute that project.  So, the laboratory section is designed to help you get experience with the various components of how experiments are conducted in experimental psychology so that you will be prepared to conduct your project in the advanced course. 

Role of Course in the Natural World LADR:  I will quote here some of the general objectives for all Natural World courses.  These are objectives that this course will emphasize.  The objective that will be assessed particularly is in bold.

  1. Articulate a central assumption of science: the universe operates according to universally consistent rules, and we can discover these rules by logical thought subject to test through experiments and observations
  2. Recognize that there is no single scientific method, that the scientific enterprise consists of multiple methods and tools of investigation for evaluating ideas, and that all science relies upon the acquisition of evidence obtained through experimentation and observation to test hypotheses and theories rather than upon the acceptance of ideas based on authority
  3. Understand that scientific inquiry is not formulaic in practice and be able to explain how science works as a blend of logic, imagination, and serendipity to produce theories that have both explanatory and predictive power subject to validation by experiments and observations
  4. Demonstrate with examples that science is a distinguishing feature of the contemporary world, and that the scientific enterprise is embedded in and influenced by the political, social, economic, and cultural contexts of the times
  5. Conduct a scientific investigation, including the formulation of questions and hypotheses, the development of methods of investigation, the collection and analysis of data, and the presentation of the work in written and oral scientific style

Objectives Connected to the Liberal Arts:

This course connects to the liberal arts in several ways.  Science is a traditional and fundamental area of study in the liberal arts.  Science is different from many of the other areas of knowledge by its apparent ability to build a body of knowledge that is to some degree cumulative and gains a very wide degree of acceptance by practitioners of that field.  It is these characteristics that has led to the claim, made by some, that scientific knowledge is more objective that other disciplines.  But, science is not a fixed set of facts to be learned, but a constantly changing and evolving body of knowledge like any other scholarly field you find taught at Hanover College.  To understand science, in fact to understand any discipline taught here at Hanover, requires one to understand how the field learns and expands its horizon and critiques its past knowledge.  Thus, this class will emphasize the data and reasoning that leads researchers in sensation and perception to certain conclusions and in the class we will be asked to critique these data and the consequent reasoning.  In addition, one feature of the liberal arts is that it prepares people "to lead deliberate, examined lives." (Catalog, p. 8) However, one facet of our lives that often goes little examined is how it is possible that we can sense and perceive the world around us and how these mechanisms that make sensation and perception affect our lives.  By making you aware of these mechanisms a more aware life is possible.


Course Organization/Expectations

Read material and use media before coming to class.  In class, we will not simply present the material from the text but examine the material. Class is for working on understanding, applications, covering of new material.  Thus, familiarity with the material prior to class is vital.

Laboratory: The labs will be a chance to delve into some of the methods of the field.  Sensation and perception has developed a set of methods that are unique, even within psychology.  These methods have demonstrated their usefulness by being the basis for many applications you run into on a daily basis.

Attend Class.

No Electronic Devices in Class: That means no phones, no handheld devices, no laptops, no tablets, etc. are to be used at all during class.

Turn assignments in on time.  A letter grade is lost for each late day and nothing will be accepted more than three days late.  Late is defined as one minute after the start time of class.

Participation in Class.  As much of this class will be an investigation into the meaning of the findings we discuss we need all of you to ask questions, suggest ideas and critique other people's ideas, including mine.

Seek help as you need it.  Unfortunately my training in  psychology has not made me a mind reader.  If you are having troubles seek help from me and/or fellow students before the latter part of the term.  Seek the help as soon as the trouble begins.  That requires you thinking about the material and not just memorizing so that you know if you really understand it.


Schedule:

Week Topic Reading and Web Pages
1
1/6-10
Background: Philosophical/Biological

Schwartz & Krantz Chapter 1; Krantz ESP Appendix
Review Structure of Neuron
Review Action Potential

Class 1..Class 3..Class 4..Anatomy ppt html

2
1/13-17
Visual System: The Eye Schwartz & Krantz Chapter 3
Scans of the Eye
Receptive Fields Tutorial

Retina ppt.. Transduction ppt.. Central Visual System ppt
3
1/20-24

Visual System: The Brain

Schwartz & Krantz Chapter 4
4
1/27-31
Object Perception
Test # 1 Friday, Jan 31

Schwartz & Krantz Chapter 5
Effects of Receptor (Sampling) Density

Fourier Analysis Tutorial
Receptive Field as Edge Detector

5
2/3-2/7
Color Perception Schwartz & Krantz Chapter 6
6
2/10-14
Depth and Size
Schwartz & Krantz Chapter 7
Vision and Art Tutorial
Shadows
7
2/17-21
Movement and Action Schwartz & Krantz Chapter 8
8
3/3-7
Constancy and Illusion Krantz ESP Chapter 9
Parts of Vision and Art Tutorial
9
3/10-14
The Auditory System
Test #2 Friday, March 14
Schwartz & Krantz Chapter 10
Fourier Analysis Tutorial
10
3/17-21
Speech Perception & Music Perception Schwartz & Krantz Chapter 11 & Chapter 12
11
3/24-28
Touch & Pain Schwartz & Krantz Chapter 13
12
3/31-4/4
Olfaction & Taste Schwartz & Krantz Chapter 14
13
4/7-11
Sensory Systems in Animals (if ready) Schwartz & Krantz Chapter 15 (if ready)
NA Development if Last Chapter not Ready Krantz ESP Chapter 15

 Apr 14-18 Final Examination (During Final Examination Period) (Who Knows Where?)

 

Laboratory Schedule:

In all types of inquiry, the knowledge gained is fundamentally dependent upon the methods used to gain that knowledge. Therefore, the laboratory portion of this course is set up to allow you to both experience some fundamental phenomena and also to gain experience in how scientific questions are asked, answers sought and discoveries communicated. Below is the schedule of laboratories that are part of the course.

Week Laboratory Topic Assignment Type
1 Psychophysical Methods I: Thresholds and Computation of Threshold and Linear Interpolation Read: Schwartz & Krantz Chapter 2
Problems (25 pts)
2

Psychophysical Methods II:
Signal Detection Theory and Magnitude Estimation
and Graphing with Excel (as PDF)
(for Excel before 2007, as PDF)

Read: Schwartz & Krantz Chapter 2
Problems and Graphs (25 pts)
PowerPoint outline showing how to do the ROC graph.  As PowerPoint; As PDF.
(for Excel before 2007, as PDF)

3

Psychophysical Methods III: Psychophysical Laws
Logarithms Spreadsheet

Data Graphs with Interpretation (A mini results section) (25 pts)

4

No Lab this Week?

 
5

Acuity and Retinal Location I : Calibration and Experiment

Here is a document by Dr. Darrin Rubino on how to add error bars to Graphs 
Spread Sheet for creating 95% confidence intervals for error bars



 

6

Acuity and Retinal Location II: Analyzing Data relative to your hypothesis

Method Section, Results, Summary (50 pts)*
7

Stereoscopic Size Constancy I: Making Quantitative Predictions

8 Stereoscopic Size Constancy II: Testing Quantitative Predictions

Spreadsheet to help generate predicted sizes.

9

Stereoscopic Size Constancy III

Full Lab Report (100 pts)*
10

Critical Bands & Masking I: Determining Limits

Spreadsheet to convert gains to decibels.

11

Critical Bands and Masking II: Determing Limits

Full Lab Report (100 pts)

12

Presetations: Critical Band Findings

13 Goggles No Assignment

Assignments and Examinations:

Homework.

Throughout the term there will be homework problems assigned.  They will be due the next class day.  Problems will come from the problems at the end of the text chapters and from others I will hand out in class.  Often they will require the use of the text media.  Problems of this sort will also be on the exams.  Homework will be collected and graded and will total to 100 points.

Examinations.

There will be three tests. The tests will be a combination format of short answer items (such as identification) and longer essays. All examinations will be of a similar format. Also, all examinations will be cumulative because all later material builds on or relates to earlier material. Since each successive examination covers more material, each successive examination will be worth more according to the following table.

Exam #1 100 points
Exam #2 150 points
Exam #3 200 points

All exams will take place in SCC 148 so that students will have individual access to computers.

Laboratory Assignments.

There will be several types of laboratory assignments including problems, data analysis, graphing of results, and laboratory reports. These assignments are listed above in the schedule of the laboratories and will be described more in the labs where they are involved.  However, the labs have a cumulative set of purposes.  These purposes are two-fold: to develop skills at experimentation using the methods of sensation and perception and to develop skills at critically analyzing the results of these experiments.  Thus, assignments such as graphing may seem purely as a skill, but even here, how one graphs can greatly impact the way we interpret data.  Thus, understanding the impact of how a graph is constructed on interpretation can assist in a critical understanding of data.

The different types of assignments will be worth different point values depending on the size of the assignment.  The points are listed in the syllabus above in the laboratory schedule.  Those assignments marked with an asterisk (*) must be taken by the learning center for review prior to being handed in.  A letter grade will be taken off of the assignment, if the paper is not reviewed by the learning center first.  It is possible on individual cases that the last lab report will also be required to be taken by the writing center.  This requirement will be indicated on the return of the second lab.  The information for the format and guidelines for the laboratory format are here. For the final lab, Critical Bands, you will be asked to do a short in class group presentation relating to the results you have found. We will discuss the presentation and its expectations when we get to the lab.

Important Links

Research Participation

One of the Natural World LADR objectives is to show you different ways that science is conducted (see objective 2 above).  However, this class can only show a small number of methods.  So this assignment is to give you experience with alternative methods, but from a psychological perspective.  You can earn this credit in three ways. First, you can participate in research that is being conducted by faculty members or students of Hanover College. By participating in these studies, you can gain valuable, first-hand knowledge about how research is conducted. You will receive up to 50 points for each 1/2 hour of participation. To receive credit, you MUST: a) obtain the signature of the researcher, and b) answer some basic questions about the nature and purpose of the study [see linked Research Participation Form]. Second, you can substitute two online studies for any one Hanover study found on this site: http://psych.hanover.edu/research/exponnet.html.  While you cannot get the researchers signature you must still fill out the questions [see attached Online Participation Form].  Third, you can obtain the credit by writing a 2-page summary and critique of an approved psychological journal article.  The guidelines are here. You must complete two of these assignments by the end of the term.  You may earn extra credit by completing two more of these assignments for up to 25 points each. The Research Participation Forms and/or Article Critiques will be collected the Friday before the beginning of dead week.

Relevant Links

 

Grading and Class Policies:

Class Participation:

Participation in and regular attendance of classroom activities and discussions will be worth 100 points. I expect each student to participate fully in discussions in class and laboratories. These discussions are integral to getting the greatest possible benefit from this class in addition to being a part of the development of your speaking abilities.

Late Policy:

An assignment is late one minute after the beginning of class. One letter grade will be subtracted for the first day late and another letter grade for each additional day, also beginning at the time of class plus one minute.  Nothing will be accepted more than three days late.

Grading:

This class is graded on a point system which means that each assignment of the course is worth a certain amount of points towards the final grade. When you get an assignment back you will be given a grade with the points earned over the total number of points. Thus, you should be able to follow your progress in the course on your own.

The table below summarize the grading for each class assignment.

Activity Points
Test 1 100        
Test 2 150        
Test 3 200        
Homework 100        
Lab Assignments  
     Psychophysics 1 25        
     Psychophysics 2 25        
     Psychophysics 3 25        
     Acuity Lab 50        
     Size Constancy Lab 100        
     Critical Bands Presentation 50        
     Critical Bands Lab 75        
Research Participation 100         
Participation 100         
Total 1100         

Grades will be converted to percentiles and letter grades will be assigned as follows:

Grade Percent Range
A 100%-93.4%
A- 93.3%-90%
B+ 89.9%-86.7%
B 86.6%-83.4%
B- 83.3%-80%
C+ 79.9%-76.7%
C 76.6%-73.4%
C- 73.3%-70%
D+ 69.9%-66.7%
D 66.6%-60%
F < 60%

 


 

 

counter customizable