Sensation and Perception

University of Otago

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Sensation and Perception

  • Host University

    University of Otago

  • Location

    Dunedin, New Zealand

  • Area of Study

    Neuroscience, Psychobiology, Psychology

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    (PSYC 210, PSCY 211, PSYC 212), For Neuroscience students the prerequisite is PSYC 111.

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credit Points

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    How the brain constructs reality.

    An exploration of the sensory systems

    How does the brain construct reality? Sight, sound, touch, smell, taste - these are the processes that allow us to interact with the world and with each other, ultimately enabling us to build our own individualised versions of reality. In this paper we explore the amazing capabilities of the sensory systems, examining the physiology and psychology behind sensation and perception. All five of the classic sensory systems will be covered; additional lecture topics include sensory deprivation, psychedelic drugs and the phenomenon of synaesthesia.

    Learning Outcomes
    -A foundational understanding of the sensory systems
    -An appreciation of the roles of nature and nurture in perceptual development
    -Recognition of the ever-increasing interplay between technology and sensation/perception

    Course Structure
    This course presents a survey of the following topics:
    -Vestibular Sensation
    -Clinical Case Studies
    -Sensory Deprivation

    Each week's topic will be presented in lecture, and then a short supplementary reading will be assigned. One week's reading may consist of a few newspaper articles, while another week's reading may be a chapter from a popular science book; all readings will be accessible via Blackboard.

    The final mark consists of 50% internal assessment (two 25% in-class tests) and 50% external assessment (one 50% exam).

    Reference Text: Goldstein, E.B. (2010). Sensation and Perception (8th ed.). Belmont: Wadsworth.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

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Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

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Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.