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psyc 100 class notes

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PSYC 100
Daniel J Levitin

September 23The How did you get here lecture series is where different McGill professors talk about how they got interested in the field the kind of research they do how they became professors and so on And Professor Rhonda Amsel whos an awardwinning teacher is going to give the one on September 28 The NTCs are a studentinitiated effort to transcribe every word and burp and um the professor says Sometimes they workout well and sometimes they dont What I mean by that is in the years I taught at McGill sometimes at the strategic points during the semester if you buy a subscription to the NTCs if you pay for them you get a packet that has everything that I said and some people find it helpful to study the direct transcript But at least a few cases because its studentrun and students have midterm the NTCs actually collapse in the middle of the year and Im only telling you this so you dont put undue reliance on them Think of it as your backup not your primary source of material so what Im saying is in at least two maybe three unfortunate cases the NTCs stop getting written for the class I was teaching and so the students not taking their own notes relying on the fact that they had NTCs that didnt work out so well So you should still take notes even if you buy the NTCs Thats the message And what I just said will probably be in an NTC if they write it up Well then you as an editor might edit it outUh where we were last time I want to give you an outline of what we were talking about last time the kind of outline you might write in your own notes if you were writing your own notes So we were talking about principles that underlie perception And the examples I gave you were from the domain of visual perception Of course we have 5 senses theres seeing and hearing and theres the tactile sense gustatory that is taste olfactorysmell and I suppose you can make a case that we have a sixth sense a kind of intuitive sense that has no scientific basis but we can talk about that in a metaphysics class we wont talk about it here But for five senses there are a number of principles that apply to all of them In all cases youre getting input from the environment thats impinging on a sensory reception whether its taste buds or whether its the retina So input from the environment impinges on your sensory receptor and thats transduced theres a transduction process by which that turns into electrical signals in the brain and you have the perception of some object or some event The senses also differ from one another In the case of vision we think of vision as a process that has to piece together different elements of the experience and what I was talking mostly about last Tuesday was the constructive nature of visual perception and some principles such as perceptual fillingin or perceptual completion that help account for how it is were able to make sense of the visual word even when the stimuli that impinge on the sensory receptors that is even when what we take in with our eyes is incomplete or ambiguous And I talked about the Gestalt grouping principles how it is that were able to figure out what goes with what in the visual environment Today Im going to talk about some of the same principles perceptual fillingin perceptual completion being two phrases for the same thing and about what goes with what in the auditory domain I brought some examples of auditory illusions that in some cases parallel the visual illusions that you saw And its going to be one of the unusual events where Im resorting to that evil being called PowerPoint but its only being the sounds are embedded in slides and hopefully it will help illustrate whats happeningTheres a button up here called take control I dont know why its called that I pushed it and the room didnt suddenly go quiet Maybe theres some poor monkey in some cage somewhere thats getting zapped I dont know So one way to describe perception that we didnt encounter before is its a dynamic and integrated process
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