1. Knowledge and understanding. Students will achieve a solid understanding of perception and of psychophysical methods.
2. Applying knowledge and understanding. Students will be capable of applying notions to practical laboratory problems, to problems in cognitive ergonomics, and in general to problems of nonverbal communication.
3. Autonomy of judgment. Students will develop critical thinking with regard to scholarly literature on perception.
4. Communication skills. Students will be able to use principles of perception science to enhance their visual communication skills (graphics, images, video presentations, web pages).
5. Learning skills. The course contents will provide the bases for learning to use software and developer's toolkits for psychological and psychophysics experiments.
Course contents summary
Introduction to the study of perception, aimed at understanding: i) how perceptual systems shape our experience of the world; ii) methods for studying sensation and perception; ii) the adaptive function of perception, within the framework of the evolution of the species as well as within the framework of individual learning. The course will also present the main methods for psychophysical measurements and their application to research as well as to practical problems.
Problems of perception. Levels of explanation. Low-level vision, middle vision, high-level vision. Classical psychophysics. Signal detection theory. The pyschophysical chain and the perception-action cycle. Senses and perceptual systems. Multisensory perception. The constancies. Space perception. Perception of movement. Color perception. Perceiving one's body and controlling actions. Perceiving food. Time perception. Perception and horizontal cognitive processes (attention, memory, reasoning). Classical and contemporary models of perception.
Wolfe, J. et al (2006). Sensazione e percezione. Zanichelli. (pp. 250).
Bruno, N., Pavani, F. & Zampini (2011). La percezione multisensoriale. Il Mulino. (pp. 250)
Bruno, N. (2013). Elementi di psicofisica. Dispensa per il corso di Percezione e Psicofisica. see personal homepage of the instructor. (pp. 20)
Bruno, N. (2012). Introduzione alla percezione. Dispensa per il corso di Percezione e Psicofisica. see personal homepage of the instructor. (pp. 20).
lectures and in-class demonstrations
Assessment methods and criteria
For students that come to class, three written partial exams (short answers), in class during class times, on subsets of the materials that will be defined during the course. All and only students that have scores on all three partials will be given a grade by this method. Students who do no receive a grade by this method will take an oral exam on the whole program.