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Perception and Attention


Module description

This module aims to:

  • provide an introduction to sensory and perceptual processes, blending classical and contemporary approaches to basic information processing
  • identify key theoretical issues and methodological contributions in perception and cognition generally
  • demonstrate the scope for the application of knowledge of sensory and perceptual processes to other areas of cognitive psychology and neuroscience.

Indicative module content

  • Basic concepts in cognitive neuroscience
  • Functional anatomy of the visual, auditory, and somatosensory systems
  • Visual object recognition, face perception and recognition
  • Somatosensation and the body image
  • Classic models of selective attention
  • Visual search and the attentional spotlight
  • Attentional capture, neglect and extinction
  • Motor control, basic mechanisms of cognitive control
  • Conscious awareness and subliminal perception

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you should be able to:

  • identify (list) the general theoretical approaches that have been covered in this course
  • specify the main theories, models, concepts or methods covered in each of the lecture topics
  • critically evaluate each of the theories in relation to any rival theories citing research evidence to support or refute each idea
  • discuss the relative importance of diverse approaches to studying perceptual and attentional processes
  • provide examples of experimental and modelling techniques used in perception and attention research
  • evaluate the strength of research evidence
  • review the contributions of perception research to general psychology
  • discuss the applicability of research (data, theories, methods, concepts) on perception, attention and action to real-world problems.