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James W. Pennebaker, Chair The University of Texas at Austin, SEA 4.212, Austin, TX 78712 • (512) 475-7596

Fall 2006

PSY 323 • Perception

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
44800 MWF
11:00 AM-12:00 PM
NOA 1.124
ALBRECHT

Course Description

The study of sensation and perception is central to all of psychology because in order to make an adaptive response, one must first understand the nature of the stimulus. In this course we study the structure of the sense organs and how they transduce the physical stimulus into a neurophysiological response. We then follow the anatomical projections of the sensory neurons into and through the brain, discussing the particular types of neural information processing occurring at each synaptic level. Our current knowledge from anatomical and physiological investigations is related to classical psychophysical, modern cognitive, and other behavioral investigations. This knowledge has been acquired over several centuries through a multi-disciplinary scientific endeavor. In the end, the goal is to understand the classical perceptual problems discussed in psychology at several different levels of analysis -- from the most basic electrochemical events in the brain to the more cognitive and phenomenological events in the mind.

Grading Policy

There will be three regular exams in this course; each of the first two exams will be worth 35% of your grade (70% total for both of them) and the last exam, which occurs during the last week of classes, will be worth 30%. The exams will be composed of Multiple-Choice questions. Note that the regular exams cannot be administered early, or late -- not for any reason.

The final exam is optional; it is not required. If you take all three regular exams (on the dates they are scheduled) and you are content with your grade (based upon these three exams), then there will not be a final exam for you. If you should elect to take this optional final examination, then your final grade will be based upon the average of all four exams, weighted as follows: 26%, 26%, 22%, 26%. Final grades will be given on a curve; the five highest cumulative scores (of the five best students) and use the average of these five as "the reference score;" 90.00% of this reference score will be the cut-off for an A, etc.

Texts

Perception, Blake

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