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The University of Southampton

PSYC2018 Perception

Module Overview

The module will cover basic topics in perceptual psychology. We will discuss how the visual brain uses information from the two eyes in combination with learnt heuristics and other information sources to construct a perceptual representation of the world. We will discuss basic anatomy and physiology associated with perception, as well as introduce topics such as motion perception, colour perception, the perception of depth and size. In addition, we cover higher-level visual cognition, including attention, object recognition. We will also cover auditory perception, including pitch perception and source localisation. We will frame perception in the context of psychology in general, highlighting the role of perception in aspects of cognitive, social, clinical and health psychology. The module will be taught by lectures including classroom demonstrations whenever possible. The module is core for BSc Psychology students, and can be taken as an optional module for non-Psychology students as part of the Curriculum Innovation Project.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

Appreciate the complexity of the problem of visual processing, and gain insight into how the brain solves it

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Appreciate the complexity of the problem of perceptual processing, and gain insight into how the brain solves it
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the experimental tools used by perceptual psychologists to study visual, auditory and tactile processing
  • Describe how illusions inform our understanding of the perceptual system
  • Link the physiology of the visual system with the qualities of human colour, motion and depth processing
  • Describe of the processes by which the auditory system identifies auditory properties such as pitch and source location.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the cutaneous senses, and the importance of touch for interactions with the environment


We will cover a number of topics over the course of the module, including: • Introduction to perception • The visual system: Introduction to physiology of perception • Introduction to vision • Visual Cortex and Beyond • Perceiving objects and scenes • Visual Attention • Perceiving motion • Perceiving colour • Perceiving depth and size • The auditory system: Pitch perception, and source localisation • The cutaneous senses

Learning and Teaching

Independent Study128
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Goldstein, E. B. & Brockmole, J. R. (2016). Sensation and Perception. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Exam  (2 hours) 58%
Group work 15%
Multiple choice Test 25%
Research Participation 2%


MethodPercentage contribution
Exam 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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