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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences : Psychology

Undergraduate Course: Perception (PSYL10116)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis course examines the perception of the external world, and one's own body and movement.
Course description The course will cover the use of vision and the body senses to guide actions, and the bidirectional interactions between perception and action. It will also consider the representation of our bodies as a feat of multisensory integration, the dynamic flexibility of this body representation, and the experience of body ownership and agency.

The main course content is presented in lectures, with additional in-class discussions.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Psychology 2A (PSYL08011) AND Psychology 2B (PSYL08012)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Research Methods and Statistics (PPLS08001) is recommended.
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should have at least 3 Psychology courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this). We will only consider University/College level courses.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Students should understand the concept of embodied cognition, and be able to give an evidence-based account of how our understanding of visual perception has been altered by a consideration of its role in action.
  2. Students should understand how sensory and non-sensory information is used to represent the body in relation to space, what determines our sense of ownership of our bodies, and how these representations can be altered by experience and in abnormal states.
  3. Students should understand basic principles of feedforward and feedback control of action, and inverse and forward modelling, and describe how these processes may contribute to our perception of our own actions.
Reading List
Lecture 1 reading:
This article provides some overview of the general rise of ¿embodied¿ approaches to cognition, with several examples (although Milner & Goodale¿s Two Visual Streams model does not feature strongly):
¿ Engel, Maye, Kurthen & Koenig, (2013). Where¿s the action? The pragmatic turn in cognitive science. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 17 (5):202-209.

A very brief, broad-brushstrokes introduction to Milner & Goodale¿s model is:
¿ Goodale MA & Milner AD (2006). One brain - two visual systems. The Psychologist, 19: 660-663.

A more complete, accessible overview, is the 'popular science' book:
¿ Goodale MA & Milner AD. (2004, second edition 2013) Sight unseen. Oxford University Press.

Lecture 2 reading:
An excellent introduction to the sensorimotor foundations of body representation is provided in Chapter 3 of James Tresilian¿s textbook, which provides much more background detail than it is possible to give in the lecture.
¿ Tresilian, J. R. (2012). Sensorimotor control and learning. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Chapter 3: Sensorimotor Foundations (especially Section2 3.3 and 3.4).

A good book source for material of relevance to this lecture and the next is:
¿ Knoblich et al., (Eds). 2006. Human body perception from inside out. Oxford: Oxford University Press. [chapters 3 & 4]

Another useful review source is here:
¿ Holmes & Spence, 2004. The body schema and the multisensory representation(s) of peripersonal space. Cognitive processing, 5(2), 94¿105.

Lecture 3 reading:
A good book source for material of relevance to this lecture and the last is:
¿ Knoblich et al., (Eds). 2006. Human body perception from inside out. Oxford: Oxford University Press. [chapters 3 & 4]

And you really should study the original paper that reported the Rubber Hand Illusion:
¿ Botvinick, M., & Cohen, J. (1998). Rubber hands' feel'touch that eyes see. Nature, 391(6669), 756-756.

Lecture 4 reading:
A basic introduction to the key concepts of goal-directed action and feed-forward (open-loop) and feedback-based control is provided by Chapter 1 of James Tresilian¿s textbook:
¿ Tresilian, J. R. (2012). Sensorimotor control and learning. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Chapter 1: Behavior and control (especially Sections 1.2-1.4).

This lecture will include discussion of Peripheral Deafferentation. Popular accounts of patients with this rare and devastating condition can be found here
¿ Cole J. (1995) Pride and a daily marathon. London : Bradford Books.
¿ Sacks O. (1985) The man who mistook his wife for a hat. London: Duckworth. Chapter 3: the disembodied lady.

Lecture 5 reading:
The critical background readings for this lecture relate to the main model discussed. A relatively accessible account of the model is given here:
¿ Blakemore, S. J., Wolpert, D. M., & Frith, C. D. (2002). Abnormalities in the awareness of action. Trends in cognitive sciences, 6(6), 237-242.

The more substantive paper on which the above article was based is here:
¿ Frith, C. D., & Wolpert, D. M. (2000). Abnormalities in the awareness and control of action. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B: Biological Sciences, 355(1404), 1771-1788
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserMr Christopher Egan
Tel: (0131 6)50 3450
Course secretaryMs Stephanie Fong
Tel: (0131 6)51 3733
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