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Unit of study_

PSYC3913: Perceptual Systems (Advanced)

2024 unit information

How do we know what's out in the world? Indeed, how do we know anything at all? Sensing the world around us and turning that into a reliable representation that can guide behaviour and knowledge is fundamental to everything we do. The acts of `seeing' and `hearing' seem effortless and instantaneous, yet perception poses enormous challenges and is probably the most complex problem the brain must solve. In this course, you will learn how we see colour and movement, how we perceive surfaces and know materials, and how a robust perception must combine other senses such as sound, vision and touch, or taste and smell? You will also learn about the limits of perception, and surprisingly, how much it uses guesswork, prediction and filling-in to compensate. This unit draws on multiple perspectives (behaviour, neurophysiology, modelling, neuroimaging) to answer these questions and deepen your understanding of perception. The lecturers are all research-active leaders in the field and present the latest work on these research topics. In the advanced course, the tutorial component involves small groups taking a deep dive into key concepts at the forefront of the field, complemented by student presentations and discussion and some hands-on experience in a research lab.

Unit details and rules

Managing faculty or University school:

Psychology Academic Operations

Code PSYC3913
Academic unit Psychology Academic Operations
Credit points 6
Prerequisites:
? 
(A mark of 75 or above in PSYC2X10 or PSYC2X11 or PSYC2016) and PSYC2012
Corequisites:
? 
None
Prohibitions:
? 
PSYC3013
Assumed knowledge:
? 
None

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. have a deep understanding of various areas of visual perception and a familiarity with auditory and tactile perception, too.
  • LO2. gain an understanding of the various research methods used in perceptual research and an understanding of the computational and neurophysiological underpinnings of perceptual processes.
  • LO3. gain an understanding of perceptual science, its methods, and how to present it to others.
  • LO4. (i) develop knowledge of several of the perceptual problems the brain must solve (such as combining information from distinct senses) (ii) Appreciation of common processing principles for how the brain solves perceptual problems (such as adaptation) (iii) Conceptual understanding of the limits on human perception and how they relate to the underlying mechanisms (such as acuity) (iv) Understanding of specific perceptual phenomena and how they arise as a consequence of processing architecture, especially in vision and audition (v) Basic knowledge of methods and measures commonly used in perception research (vi) Ability to understand and evaluate empirical studies in perception
  • LO5. (i) develop an understanding of the major methods of perceptual research (ii) Critically assess research findings and related theories in these areas (iii) Design and conduct basic studies to address perceptual questions: frame research questions; undertake literature searches; critically analyse theoretical and empirical studies; formulate testable hypotheses; operationalise variables; choose an appropriate methodology; make valid and reliable measurements; analyse data and interpret results; and write research reports.
  • LO6. (i) demonstrate an attitude of critical thinking that includes persistence, open---mindedness, and intellectual engagement. (ii) Evaluate evidence & information; differentiate empirical evidence from speculation. (iii) Think about how perception might be achieved mechanistically (iv) Evaluate issues using different theoretical and methodological approaches. (v) Use reasoning and evidence to recognise, develop, defend, and criticise arguments.
  • LO7. (i) develop an awareness of the applications of the theories and findings in the area. (ii) Apply psychological concepts, theories, and research findings to problems in everyday life and in society. (iii) Understand major areas of applied Perceptual Psychology.

Unit availability

This section lists the session, attendance modes and locations the unit is available in. There is a unit outline for each of the unit availabilities, which gives you information about the unit including assessment details and a schedule of weekly activities.

The outline is published 2 weeks before the first day of teaching. You can look at previous outlines for a guide to the details of a unit.

Session MoA ?  Location Outline ? 
Semester 2 2024
Normal day Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Outline unavailable
Session MoA ?  Location Outline ? 
Semester 2 2020
Normal day Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Semester 2 2021
Normal day Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Semester 2 2021
Normal day Remote
Semester 2 2022
Normal day Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Semester 2 2022
Normal day Remote
Semester 2 2023
Normal day Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

Modes of attendance (MoA)

This refers to the Mode of attendance (MoA) for the unit as it appears when you’re selecting your units in Sydney Student. Find more information about modes of attendance on our website.