M: 1:30-2:30 pm
T: 9-10 am
W: 4-5 pm
Th: 1:30-2:30 pm
Others by appointment
CLICK HERE FOR AN
ABBREVIATED SYLLABUS FOCUSING ON THE REST OF THE
this is the
revised Syllabus taking into account the changed to
online class beginning March 20, 2020 as a result of
the Covid-19 virus pandemic. This syllabus will be a
work in progress throughout the term check and
announcements on Teams for any changes. Please
check here for information about academic credit
policies that the college has put in place as a result
of the changes to instruction (Link not available yet.).
Mar 23, 2020
The initial approach to this course will be
synchronous using Microsoft Teams. Thurs, our first
class on the resumed schedule will be at 2:40 pm March 30,
2020. Please contact me as soon as possible if you
have any issues. I will record the classes so they
will show up on the Teams site and on Microsoft
Stream. Before Monday, please make sure you have
Microsoft Teams and that you see the sensation and
perception class on your list of teams. Below I will
indicate the first draft of the changes to the schedule.
Mar 04, 2020
- Find painting or create photograph that violates size
Not simple illusion
Send to me by Friday at 5 pm
Be ready to discuss in class on Monday – do not need
to send me your explanation.
- If do photograph, create two photographs
- 1 shows the illusion
- 1 shows how the illusion is made
- Be creative
Feb 17, 2019
Use ISLE 8.2. Motion Thresholds
- Use the following conditions
- Stimulus Settings
- Stimulus Type: Checkerboard, Motion Jump
- Contrast: Do not change
- Stimulus Position: 5 Levels: 0.1, 0.3, 0.5,
- Background Level: Unchanged
- Method Settings
- Number of Levels of Critical Feature:
- Number of Staircases: 10
- Minimum Value: Unchanged
- Maximum Value: 10
- Results: Collect Threshold
- Upload to Moodle by 9 pm tonight in
Motion Questions or Examples
- In groups of 3-4
- Answer one of the following questions:
Email me before tomorrows at 2 pm with your group's
three top choices. First come first served.
Send example or draft by 2:30 pm (before class)
Be prepared to present in class on Friday
- Explain how Film Works to create the illusion of
- What does the motion aftereffect tell us about
- The spiral illusion works on your face after viewing
a spiral. Why?
- Explain the Phi Phenomenon and give one real world
- What do the Law of Common Fate, Structure from
Motion and Biological Motion illustrations all have in
- Think of a real world example of the difference in
motion sensitivity and acuity in the periphery.
- Or illustration on YouTube or other video clip of
one or more of these phenomena – but the video cannot
be so named
Feb 14, 2020
Create your own set of stereo pair photos
- send both pairs to me
- labeling which image is left eye and which is right
- keep camera stable, place on something flat you can
move or a tripod
- the two images should be 6 cm to 7.5 cm (for more
depth and farther objects) apart
- but both images should point to same central object
- I will create an anaglyph and we will view Monday
- We will pick one or two to share
Do in groups of 3-4
Due to me by 5pm Sunday
Here is an example:
Final image I will create
Feb 10, 2020
- Find or create a painting/drawing that illustrates
the use of monocular/pictorial depth cues
- Identify the pictorial cues present and where
- In groups of 3-4
- Send in painting by Thursday at 3:00 pm
- Be prepared to present Friday in class
Feb 07, 2020
Homework: create images that illustrate the three types of
dichromats. Run the picture through Simulating Dichromacy for each type
of dichromat. Do not use an image in the app but upload
your own. Use the same image for all three types of
dichromacy. Get a screen capture, but only of the two
versions of the image (normal and the version of the
dichromat). Name the file after the type of dichromat.
Upload to Moodle to me by 5 pm Sunday evening.
Example image of one of the three you should
Feb 3, 2020
- Find a picture that:
- Picture to show use of complementary colors to
increase contrast, or
- Picture that uses color aftereffects, correctly
- Send to me by 3 pm on Thursday.
Be prepared to present on Friday or Monday.
- Do in groups of 3-4.
- Figure out the primary colors as you were taught
them in school.
- Find a color printer, what color inks do they use?
- Get a magnifying class or jeweler’s loupe and look
at a white area on a monitor. What color dots make
- How do all these fit together, if they do.
- Enter your ideas on Moodle by Tomorrow at
5 pm. Be prepared to discuss in class on
Jan 27, 2020
Find/create art, photograph, other media that illustrates:
- Role of contrast/contour (edges) in creating the
perception of a form, or
- The role of one or more Gestalt Law in creating the
perception of a form
Cannot be a standard illusion. Send to me by Wednesday
5:00 pm. You will present in class on Monday.
In groups of 3 or 4.
Jan 20, 2020
Do one of the following questions with three (or
Email me suggested answer by Wednesday, Jan 22, 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
- What environmental conditions make it hard to see
electronic displays in cars and why?
Jan 6, 2020
I hope that all of you had a wonderful break.
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
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
Scientific, Mathematical and Algorithmic Methods CCR as
such many of you might be taking this course far outside
your major. It is of value to consider why we do that to
you for a moment. 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.
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 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
Role of Course in the Core Curriculum (CCR: SL):
Many of you are taking this course to fulfill one of the
science requirements, as a CCR. Here are few of my goals,
taken from the goals for the CCRs. The central aims of the
SL CCR are to:
- expose students to the nature and limits of
scientific knowledge and mathematical and/or
- expose students to the language, theory, and
practice of disciplines within the scientific,
mathematical and/or algorithmic realms, and
- expose students to scientific methodology and the
connections between scientific theory and physical
Objectives Connected to the
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 some
knowledge can gain 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.
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.
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.
1 Final Examination (During Final Examination Period)
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
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
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.
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
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
One of the objectives
of the science CCR is to show you different ways that
science is conducted. However, this class can
only introduce 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 two
ways. First, you can participate in research or you
can write a critique of an article. To complete this
assignment for the class, you must do three of these
activities (participate in a study or write a journal
participating in these studies, you can gain valuable,
first-hand knowledge about how research is conducted.
By critiquing journal articles, you will gain insight
in to how researchers do and present their findings.
You will receive up to 100 points this assignment.
If you chose to
participate in a study, there are three ways that you
can participate. As you read below, not that the
different ways of participating give you different
levels of credit towards the assignment.
- Participant in-person in the
study conducted by a Hanover College Psychology
Faculty Member or Student whose research is being
conducted as part of a psychology class. (Each study
counts as one study)
- Participate in an on-line study
conducted by a Hanover College Psychology
Faculty Member or Student whose research is being
conducted as part of a psychology class. (Each study
counts as 3/4 of a study)
- Participate in an on-line study
conducted by a student or faculty an another
institution but listed on this site: Psychological
Research on the Net. (Each study counts as 1/2
of a study)
To receive credit for
participating in an in-person study, 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]. To received
credit for participating in an online study, either
Hanover or Not Hanover, you MUST: a) print out the
debriefing form of the study, and b) fill out and
answer the questions related on the online
participation form [see
attached Online Participation Form]. To
receive credit for writing a journal critique, write a
2-page summary and critique of an approved
psychological journal article [The
guidelines are here].
You may earn extra
credit by completing two more of these assignments for
up to 20 points each (the relative weight of the
research participation holds for the extra credit as
well). The Research Participation Forms and/or Article
Critiques will be collected the Friday before the
beginning of dead week.
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
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.
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.
Frequency Discrimination Lab Presentation
| Research Participation
Grades will be converted to
percentiles and letter grades will be assigned as