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Perception and Awareness


  • Credit value: 15 credits at Level 7
  • Convenor and tutor: Daniel Yon
  • Assessment: a 1500-word mid-term essay (50%) and 1500-word final essay (50%)

Module description

This module provides an introduction to sensory and perceptual processes, blending classical and contemporary approaches to basic information processing and identifies key theoretical issues and methodological contributions in perception and cognition generally. It demonstrates the scope for applying knowledge of sensory and perceptual processes to other areas of cognitive psychology and neuroscience.

Indicative module content

  • Cognitive neuroscience and brain science
  • Functional anatomy of the visual system
  • Higher-level vision
  • Motor control
  • Audition and touch
  • A brief history of research on selective attention
  • Selective attention, features and objects
  • Attentional spotlights and attentional capture
  • Disorders of spatial attention: neglect and extinction - attention and eye movements
  • Cognitive control and consciousness

Learning objectives

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

  • identify the general theoretical approaches to the topic
  • specify the main theories, models, concepts or methods
  • 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.