A123(class #) Social Science Class(title)

A123(class #) Social Science Class(title)
Semester Information
TR 11:30 – 2:30 (Class times)
RH 145(Class location)
Class No.
Office Hours:
Text: (2010) Book Title, 8th Ed. by E. Bob Smith(author). New York, NY(publishing city):
Thomson Wadsworth(publisher).
Course Description:
This course will provide an introduction to the study of sensation and perception. We will
discuss how scientists study perceptual phenomena. Over 1/2 of the course will be spent on
describing how the visual system works. It will be used as a model for the rest of the other
senses; however we will cover the auditory, gustatory, tactile and olfactory systems as
well. Finally, a brief survey of perceptual development will close the semester.
Course Objectives:
1) Will be able to explain the area of psychophysics and how it relates the physical world to
2) Will have a working knowledge of the major theories and paradigms of perception and be
able to critically evaluate the quality of these theories.
3) Will be able to describe the physical structures of each sensory system and explain how
these physical structures influence our perception.
4) Will be able to trace the neural pathways of each sensory system and describe what is known
about how perceptual information is processed by the nervous system
5) Will be able to describe how perceptual experiences change with age across development
Lecture Outline
(Dates of exams are firm; reading assignments may change if we fall behind or leap ahead)
First 1/3 of Course
Reading Assignment: Chapters 1, 3, 4, 9 and Appendix
1. Introduction
Project One: Method of Constant Stimuli, Limits
May 17, 19, 24, 26
3. The Visual System
Project Two: Dark Adaptation
Project Three: Visual Acuity Evaluation
4. The Visual Cortex and Beyond
9. Color Vision
Project Four: Color Vision
MAY 31
2nd 1/3 of Course
Reading Assignment: Chapters 5, 10, 8
5. Visual Pattern Perception
June 2, 7, 9, 14
10. Distance and Size Perception
Project Five: Monocular Depth Cues
Project Six: Measuring Stereoacuity
8. Movement
Last 1/3 of course
Reading Assignment: Chapters 11, 12 ,14, 15, 16
11 and 12. The Auditory System
Project Seven: Sound Localization
14. The Cutaneous Senses
Project Eight: Two Point Touch Discrimination Thresholds
Project Nine: Passive and Active Touch
June 21, 23, 28
15. The Chemical Senses: Smell and Taste
Project Ten: Recognizing Odors
16. Perceptual Development
Details, Details, Details
CLASS: I will try to structure the class in the following manner. I will lecture for about 2/3 of the
class time and we will do demonstrations, projects, or watch short video clips with the rest of
our time. These interactive modules will be scattered throughout the full class session. Please
feel free to ask questions at any time during the class period.
EXAMS: Exams will be multiple choice, short answer, fill-in-the-blank, label and identify and
essay. They will cover the text assignments as well as class presentations. The emphasis
throughout will be on material covered in class, with additional material in text used to
supplement your knowledge on any subject taught. As a result, poor attendance will probably
be reflected in the grades because material presented in class (which may or may not be in the
text) will be included in the examinations. You are responsible, absent or not, for the
material. Each exam will cover the material specified on the syllabus, unless a change is
announced during class.
PROJECTS: Throughout the course we will be conducting in-class and out-of-class
projects. These projects should be written up in a 2-3 page typed summary and turned in the
class period after the project is conducted. Each project will be docked 1 point for each day
they are late and 1 point if not typed or not complete. You must attend class and participate in
the data collection or the instructor will deduct points from your project scores as well. Each
project is worth a maximum of 10 points.
EXTRA CREDIT: You can earn 16 points of extra credit added into your total accumulated points
by completing the multiple choice questions found on ONCOURSE under the link Original Test
and Survey. They correspond to the 16 chapters from the textbook. Each quiz is worth 1 point
(each question is worth .1 points).
GRADES: Grades will be based on the three examinations plus your project scores. Each
examination is worth 100 points. All ten projects together will be worth 100 points.
Therefore, a total of 400 points can be earned during the semester. The final grade will be
determined from the traditional "100 point" scale. That is, students earning 392-400 points will
receive an "A+", 369-391 an “A”, 360-368 an "A-", 352-359 a "B+", 328-351 a "B", 320-327 a "B", 312-319 a "C+", 288-311 a "C", 280-287 a "C-", 272-279 a "D+", 248-271 a "D", 240-247 a "D", and below 240 an "F".
Test Grades (3)
300 total points
Projects (10)
100 total points
Extra Credit (16)
16 total points
400 total points