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Chapter 8: Sensation and Perception
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- 8.10: Multi-Modal Perception
- Most of the time, we perceive the world as a unified bundle of sensations from multiple sensory modalities. In other words, our perception is multimodal. This module provides an overview of multimodal perception, including information about its neurobiology and its psychological effects.
- 8.1: Sensation and Perception
- The topics of sensation and perception are among the oldest and most important in all of psychology. People are equipped with senses such as sight, hearing and taste that help us to take in the world around us. In this module, you will learn about the biological processes of sensation and how these can be combined to create perceptions.
- 8.2: Vision
- Vision is the sensory modality that transforms light into a psychological experience of the world around you, with minimal bodily effort. This module provides an overview of the most significant steps in this transformation and strategies that your brain uses to achieve this visual understanding of the environment.
- 8.3: Taste and Smell
- Humans are omnivores (able to survive on many different foods). The omnivore’s dilemma is to identify foods that are healthy and avoid poisons. Taste and smell cooperate to solve this dilemma. Stimuli for both taste and smell are chemicals. Smell results from a biological system that essentially permits the brain to store rough sketches of the chemical structures of odor stimuli in the environment
- 8.4: Hearing
- Hearing allows us to perceive the world of acoustic vibrations all around us, and provides us with our most important channels of communication. This module reviews the basic mechanisms of hearing, beginning with the anatomy and physiology of the ear and a brief review of the auditory pathways up to the auditory cortex
- 8.5: Touch and Pain
- The sensory systems of touch and pain provide us with information about our environment and our bodies that is often crucial for survival and well-being. Moreover, touch is a source of pleasure. In this module, we review how information about our environment and our bodies is coded in the periphery & interpreted by the brain as touch and pain sensations. We discuss how these experiences are often dramatically shaped by top-down factors like motivation, expectation, mood, fear, stress, & context.
- 8.6: The Vestibular System
- The vestibular system functions to detect head motion and position relative to gravity and is primarily involved in the fine control of visual gaze, posture, orthostasis, spatial orientation, and navigation. Vestibular signals are highly processed in many regions of the brain and are involved in many essential functions. In this module, we provide an overview of how the vestibular system works and how vestibular signals are used to guide behavior.
- 8.7: Time and Culture
- There are profound cultural differences in how people think about, measure, and use their time. This module describes some major dimensions of time that are most prone to cultural variation.
- 8.8: Failures of Awareness - The Case of Intentional Blindness
- The failure to notice unexpected objects or events when attention is focused elsewhere is now known as inattentional blindness. This module describes the history and status of research on inattentional blindness, discusses the reasons why we find these results to be counterintuitive, and the implications of failures of awareness for how we see and act in our world.
- 8.9: Eyewitness Testimony and Memory Biases
- Eyewitnesses can provide very compelling legal testimony, but rather than recording experiences flawlessly, their memories are susceptible to a variety of errors and biases. They (like the rest of us) can make errors in remembering specific details and can even remember whole events that did not actually happen. In this module, we discuss several of the common types of errors, and what they can tell us about human memory and its interactions with the legal system.