Warning! This unit contains mature content and may not be suitable for some students. Any student under the age of 16 who would like to enrol in this unit must first complete a Parental Consent Form.

Subject details

At the completion of this subject, students will be able to:

  1. identify, define and demonstrate an understanding of the key terms and processes in Perception
  2. discuss key theories and research in Perception
  3. locate, identify and demonstrate an understanding of the function of key structures in the physiology of human sensory systems
  4. explain the cause of many different perceptual phenomena in terms of perceptual and physiological processes and principles
  5. understand the difference between the “real” world (what is) and the “phenomenological” world (what seems to be)
  6. apply perceptual and physiological principles to understanding the phenomenological world
  7. critically evaluate designs and analyses in perceptual psychology
  8. interpret empirical data in relation to theoretical questions
  9. critically evaluate perceptual theories and arguments
  10. review and critique literature on Perception
  11. competently use information technology applications e.g. e-mail, web-browsers, etc.
  12. select an appropriate design and methodology for the measurement of perceptual phenomena
  13. apply knowledge to solving problems and evaluating ideas and information
  14. describe and interpret data presented in graphical form
  15. competently access, use and synthesise information
  16. display creative thinking skills
  17. develop new ideas and theories and construct cohesive arguments
  18. present ideas in new and creative ways
  19. consider problems from new perspectives
  20. demonstrate effective writing skills
  21. display effective discussion skills
  22. express ideas with clarity and concision
  23. communicate complex ideas simply present information in a coherent and integrated way
  24. apply and adapt knowledge to the real world
  25. recognise the strengths and limitations of Perception in gathering “facts”
  26. present a convincing argument for the importance of the study of Perception
  27. present a balanced critical view of Perception
  28. describe methodological and ethical challenges involved in research with infants and children
  29. describe methodological and ethical challenges involved in research with animals
  30. reflect on how perception may influence your opinions or beliefs
  31. demonstrate effective time management and work organisation skills
  32. assess your own learning against a set of pre-selected criteria
  33. reflect on how you have analysed information and solved problems, and incorporate lessons learnt into future work.
    • 1. Introduction, Principles and Methods
    • 2. The Body Senses and the Chemical Senses
    • 3. Audition
    • 4. Light, Eye & Brain, and Spatial Vision
    • 5. Visual Development
    • 6. Object Perception
    • 7. Multisensory Integration
    • 8. Depth Perception
    • 9. Motion Perception
    • 10. Colour Vision
    • 11. Face Perception
  • Study resources

    • Instructional methods

      • Discussion forum/Discussion Board
      • Online Quizzes/Tests
      • Online assignment submission
      • Podcasting/Lecture capture

You must have successfully completed the following subject(s) before starting this subject:

MAQ-PSYX105-Introduction to Psychology II
MAQ-COGX101-Delusions and Disorders of the Mind and Brain

Special requirements

  • OtherDetails -

    Students who have an Academic Standing of Suspension or Exclusion under Macquarie University's Academic Progression Policy are not permitted to enrol in OUA units offered by Macquarie University. Students with an Academic Standing of Suspension or Exclusion who have enrolled in units through OUA will be withdrawn.

Perception, using the senses, is an organism's only link to the outside world. As the only method for our brain to absorb information, perceptual processes mediate what we believe is real and everything we have ever learned. This unit investigates the mechanisms of perception through all of the major senses, giving special attention to the best understood sense of all: vision. We explore aspects from the physiological bases of the senses to the rich and complex experiences and illusions that they produce, answering questions such as 'How do 3D movies work?', 'How do we know which way is up?', 'Why are some people colour-blind?', 'What do wine-tasters know that I don't?', 'How can we tell the pitch of a musical note?', and 'How do we tell our friends from strangers?'

  • online quizzes (16%)
  • Practical worksheets (9%)
  • mid semester test (25%)
  • invigilated examination (50%)

Textbook information is pending.

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