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Jacqueline Woolley, Chair The University of Texas at Austin, SEA 4.212, Austin, TX 78712 • (512) 475-7596

Spring 2007

PSY 341k • Seeing and Acting in a Virtual World - W

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
43730 TTh
2:00 PM-3:30 PM
SEA 2.108

Course Description

The goal of this course is to teach you how to do experiments and make discoveries about your own perceptions and actions in ordinary life. We can do this because of new Virtual Reality technology that allows us to examine situations close to everyday life. The goal is to make new discoveries by doing several experiments in the Virtual Reality lab. In the course of doing this, you will learn a lot about how to ask scientific questions, do experiments, analyze the data, and make conclusions. The thing of greatest value, however, is learning how to form your own questions and to answer them.

Grading Policy

Grades will be based on the papers, plus the mid-term and final exams, attendance, and class presentations. The exams will consist of short answer questions on the material covered in the preceding half-semester. The final exam will cover only the second half of the course. The exams will cover material discussed in class and in the labs, as well as on the readings.


Readings are available on electronic reserve. Several chapters from the following books will be assigned. (The amount of material from each does not warrant buying the books.) D.A. Rosenbaum (1991) Human Motor Control . Academic Press (Chapters 1, 2, 5, & 6) R. Sekuler & R. Blake Perception (3rd ed) Chapters 1, & 2. M. T. Banich (1997) Neuropsychology: The neural basis of mental function. Houghton Mifflin. Chapter 1 Another useful reference is: Gazzaniga, M., Ivry, R & Mangun, G (2000) Cognitive Neuroscience Norton, 2nd ed.


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