Psychology Department course unit outline 2013-2014

PS 1061: Sensation and Perception
Term 2,     Thursday 11 am-1 pm     (Boiler House)

Course coordinator: Johannes M. Zanker (Room W 246,

To introduce the major concepts of low-level sensory information processing and its relation to the control of behaviour and cognitive function: sensation, perception, motor control, and attentional modulation.

Learning outcomes:

As the result of successfully completing the course, students will:

Topics and Lecturers:
Week    Date      Topic                                                                                                     Lecturer
1.    16/01/2014  Introduction: Perception as a Gateway to the World                               JMZ
2.    23/01/2014  Visual Perception 1: Learning to read the neural code                             SD
3.    30/01/2014  Visual Perception 2: Illusions as key to reality                                         JMZ
4.    06/02/2014  Visual perception 3: Travelling through space and time                            JMZ
5.    13/02/2014  Eye movements and perception                                                              SD
6.    20/02/2014       -- reading week --
7.    27/02/2014  Auditory perception: From noise to sound                                              JMZ
8.    06/03/2014  Touch, Taste and Smell: Basic but hidden senses?                                  JMZ
9.    13/03/2014  Attentional modulation of perception                                                      GK
10.  20/03/2014  Multi-Sensory Integration                                                                       SD
11.  27/03/2014  Integration and Conceptual frameworks: Making sense of the world        JMZ
SD = Szonya Durant               GK = Gustav Kuhn              JMZ = Johannes M Zanker

(please note: some of the weblinks direct you to last yea's pages, they will be updated in the week of the particular lectures)

Learning and Teaching Methods:
10 two-hour lectures. Students can access electronic handouts of the slides for each lecture through moodle. Most lectures are accompanied by special web-pages accessible from the links in the list above, which contain further explanations, helpful links, and additional material including detailed reading lists, through which they are invited to consult research journals .

To facilitate the discussion in the large class of first years, there is a PS1061 Discussion Forum, linked to the lecture moodle page, for posting comments, exchanging Questions & Answers, etc.

By means of a two-hour unseen written examination at the end of the year. A previous exam script will become available on  moodle. Three Year 1 units in total, which includes PS1010, must be passed to progress to Year 2.

Coursework essay:
To be announced later.

Recommended books for general reading (key textbook highlighted):

more specific pointers towards reading will be given in individual lectures, and key papers can be downloaded from lecture moodle page.


last update 8-03-2014