Sensory Processes (Psych 2E03) Fall 2012
Location: HSC/1A1; Mon Wed 11:30 am, Fri 1:30 pm.
Course Instructor: Dr. Ullal, G.
Contact: Department of Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour.
Tel. 21331; email: [email protected]
Room # 108 Psych. Bldg.
Office Hours: By appointment with Dr. Ullal or with TAs. Special office hours will be
assigned with the instructor and teaching assistants before and after examinations. Please
email with the subject of your email to schedule an appointment. Emails sent
without a subject will not get a response.
Course Description and Objectives:
Basic survival of an organism relies upon its knowing the world that surrounds it. The
fundamental system that underlies this knowing is what “Sensory Processes” is all
about. Perhaps, it may not be an exaggeration to state that in sensory mechanisms one
sees the ‘constant endeavor’ of human consciousness to explore the world around.
Exploring this is indeed an exciting task. The ever-growing tools of investigation
make this attempt even more fascinating. Further, the vignettes from psychology
serve as ‘road-maps’ for our exciting and ambitious journey towards understanding the
“Sensation and Perception” –E B Goldstein (7 or 8 Edition) Wadsworth
The lectures will cover material from the textbook as well as from outside
sources. Important slides for the lecture will be posted prior to every class on the
“avenue to learn” (available at avenue.mcmaster.ca). Students are advised to make their
own notes in class.
1. First midterm examination: The midterm examinations will be worth 25% of
the final grade. About 90% of the material covered in class prior to 1 midterm
examination and 10% from assigned readings in the text will be on 1 midtermt
examination. Page numbers of the assigned readings will be posted prior to every
lecture. Besides multiple choice questions there will be a few short answer type
questions comprising of definitions and some important concepts discussed in
2. Second midterm examination: The midterm examinations will be worth 25% of
the final grade. About 90% of the material covered in class after the 1 midterm
examination and prior to 2 midterm examination and 10% from assigned
readings in the text will be on 2 nd midterm examination. Page numbers of the
assigned readings will be posted prior to every lecture. Besides multiple choice
questions there will be a few short answer type questions comprising of
definitions and some important concepts discussed in class.
3. Final examination: It will be worth 50% of final grade. It will test 90% of the
material covered in the entire course and 10% from the entire assigned readings.
There will be greater emphasis on what is covered after the 2nd midterm
examination. Besides multiple choice questions there will be a few short
answer type questions comprising of definitions and some important concepts
discussed in class. Dates for the midterm examinations are indicated in the List
of Lectures below. Date for the final examination will be determined by the
Registrar’s Office. 3
MISSED EXAMINATIONS: There will NOT be a re-examination for missing any of
the midterm examinations. If a student misses any examination owing to an illness or any
other legitimate reason, the final examination will be rated proportionately higher
provided an official permission is routed through the University Administration or by
filling in the McMaster Student Absent Form (MSAF) as the case may be.
PLEASE NOTE: Students that miss both the midterm examinations for whatever
reasons will have to make up for the 2 examination in the form of an assessment that
may be in the form of an examination that may be of a different format or a oral/viva
voce with the instructor. The instructor will determine the format of the examination,
date, location and time for such an assessment. Further, such students should get in
touch with the instructor within 48-hours after the missed 2nd examination either in the
form of email or meeting personally. In absence of such an arrangement, the mark on
the second missed examination will be a “ZERO”.
No examination will be re-scheduled unless there is cancellation of the class by the
Students considering filling the MSAF forms please note:
If you are absent from the university for a minor medical reason, lasting fewer than 5
days, you may report your absence, once per term, without documentation, using the
McMaster Student Absence Form. Absences for a longer duration or for other reasons
must be reported to your Faculty/Program office, with documentation, and relief from
term work may not necessarily be granted. When using the MSAF, report your
absence to [email protected]
indicating the course code. You must then contact the
instructor/TA immediately (within 2 working days) by email or in person. Please note
that the MSAF may not be used for term work worth 30% or more, nor can it be used
for the final examination.
CONFLICT OF EXAMINATIONS: Since the midterm examinations are conducted
during the regular class-hour, if any other examination conflicts with this examination,
please contact the authorities conducting the other examination. The registrar of
examinations conducts final examinations. 4
IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENTS: Important announcements regarding the
course will be periodically posted in the Announcement Box of the course. Please
MCMASTER UNIVERSITY GRADING SCALE:
Grade Equivalent Grade Point Equivalent Percentages
A+ 12 90-100
A 11 85-89
A- 10 80-84
B+ 9 77-79
B 8 73-76
B- 7 70-72
C+ 6 67-69
C 5 63-66
C- 4 60-62
D+ 3 57-59
D 2 53-56
D- 1 50-52
F 0 0-49
Continued on next page 5
Schedule of lecture topics
1. The topics listed for the lectures below will follow the dates against them
2. About 90% of the material covered in class and 10% from assigned readings in
the text will be on each of the examinations. Tentative list of assigned readings is
provided below. However, this is subject to change depending upon how far we
are able to cover.
Session Date Topic/Activity Assigned textbook
readings (subject to
1 September 7 Course outline
2 10 Introduction to sensory 3-11 (7 Ed)
mechanisms-1 3-12 (8 Ed)