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Lecture 1 Notes

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Matthias Niemeier

Introduction to PSYB51: Perception & Cognition -- LECTURE 1 N Sensation & Perception -sensation would rather be the early part of perception... looking at the receptors for e.g. in the eye or ear - Perception itself is then more of the cognitive aspect of it ,98L11L.:O9942,N0,.O0,7.:9805,7,9L43 L982470OLN0,.439L3::2 -- :K,9L870,O+4Z4 4:01L3070,O,14:70 talking about what you can feel, what you can smell, what you can taste and see, then real is simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain. This is the world that you N34Z 475K0:8,38Z0794 Neo in The Matrix, 1999 So whatever we learn about the world is somehow transformed into neural signals and somehow processed by the brain. -- N Outline for lecture 1 N Early Philosophy of Perception N Nativism and Empiricism N The Dawn of Psychophysics N Biology of Perception - Philosophy being one of the important sources where psychology originally comes from. th - Psychophysics = set of tools and methods developed in the 19 century [one of the major scientific tools you can use in psychology] Psychophysics = basically trying to describe a phenomenon in psychology in terms of mathematical things [in a very accurate way] -- N !O,948%K0OO0J47419K0,;0 - For the movie matrix -> the idea originally comes from Plato. - In his allegory of the cave > he describes what he sees as our sense of reality in this little story. - He said all humans are just like prisoners tied to some wall in a cave where they live their entire life they are bondedchained to it [they NEVER get out] they sit there & 43924;0>8005icture on slide] - From outside: there is light coming from the fire that is casting shadows on the back of the cave which is what the prisoners [humans] see. [shadows of whatever objects are being carried in front of the fire] - So the point is that reality as we perceive it according to Plato is extremely limited. We 439507.0L;0the reality that is really is out there. [kind of depressing] - Prof disagrees with Plato. - Though the idea that our sense of reality is really limited based on what we are able to perceive is fair enough probably accurate. So only what we know of - somehow we can incorporate into our understanding of reality. Also, we can use all sorts of machines to expand our reality [e.g. using a microscope to see something that is really tiny or use some special device to see UV light] - But there is still the point that there is some limitation in our sense of reality that is determined by what senses we have - of course all that perception based on our senses are the products of evolution that has to do with survival mechanisms associated with evolution [which points to the fact that our perception is pretty much determined by what is really important for us to perceive > which is the current view of things in response to Plato] - So we perceive things that really matter to us! [ example of slide 15] N ,7O!KLO4845K41!07.059L43 .439 [slide #15] - #0202-075O,398439K,;030:7438 no muscles! -so there is sensory input & a response to that [similar in animalshumans] So in this plant example it illustrates that for this plant the only way to perceive this world (importantly at least) is to sense touch as it helps the plant to catch flies. So, the sense of reality for that plant is certainly VERY different from ours we have WAY MORE senses & we use them in a more sophisticated way. But for a simple plant that sense of touch is good enough.
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