Kies de Nederlandse taal
Course module: 200300072
Sensation and Perception
Course infoSchedule
Course code200300072
ECTS Credits7.5
Category / Level3 (Bachelor Advanced)
Course typeCourse
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byFaculty of Social Sciences; Undergraduate School Sociale Wetenschappen; Psychology;
Contact persondr. B.M. Harvey
Contactperson for the course
dr. B.M. Harvey
Other courses by this lecturer
dr. B.M. Harvey
Other courses by this lecturer
dr. M.J. van der Smagt
Other courses by this lecturer
Teaching period
3  (03/02/2020 to 17/04/2020)
Teaching period in which the course begins
Time slotC: MON-afternoon, TUE-afternoon,THU-morning
Study mode
RemarkLanguage used: English.
Enrolment periodfrom 28/10/2019 up to and including 24/11/2019
Enrolling through OSIRISYes
Enrolment open to students taking subsidiary coursesYes
Waiting listNo
For international students interested in taking the course 'Sensation and perception' the following applies:

Sensation and Perception is the oldest research area in psychology. Today sensation and perception is being investigated from within psychology, physics, biology and (cognitive) neuroscience. In order to be able to participate in this course, knowledge of at least one of these fields, in particular (cognitive) neuroscience or psychology, is advised.

Learning objective
After completing the subject, the student will:
  • have knowledge about the structure and function of human senses and the neuronal processes underlying human perception;
  • be familiar with the methods used to obtain such knowledge;
  • understand the interrelationships between the senses and how they relate to actions;
  • have explored a specific topic in the field of perception more closely;
  • be familiar with passing on academic knowledge to fellow students.

Relation between assessment and objective
The theoretical component will be assessed by means of a written exam, while passing on academic knowledge will be assessed by means of presentation sessions.
Perceptual psychology is the oldest and most highly developed field of psychological research. As people constantly interact with the outside world via their senses, every field of psychology and social science has to deal with the limitations and possibilities of human perception. Our senses (sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste) enable us to perceive the world around us. Communication or interaction with the world around us is impossible without perception. Research has demonstrated that traditional categorisation into five senses is but the first level of distinction. Each of the senses can be further specified, for example, colour vision and pitch, pain and temperature perception, etc. Perception is closely intertwined with other cognitive abilities, several of which will be exampled during the course.
Perception is made possible by processes, the progression and result of which can be studied at various levels: the receptor level, the level of afferent nerves and the brain, the cognitive level and the behavioural level. In addition to a more profound understanding of the human senses, there is also a need for more generalised theories of perception, which integrate a range of knowledge into a central principle (e.g. the attention principle). Finally, the subject will also focus on methodologies for studying perception.
Academic skills
Written examination and assignments
Communication skills
  • hold a presentation (prepare, present and assess a lecture)
Organisational skills
  • work in a systematic manner
Academic skills
  • research and structure information
  • critically study and analyse theories, assertions and findings
Research skills
  • be able to analyse and critically assess written research reports and research presentations
Skills of reflection
  • place the information in an academic context
Entry requirements
Prerequisite knowledge
Basic knowledge on experimental/cognitive psychology and the biological basis of behaviour.
Prerequisite knowledge can be obtained through
The course 'Brain and cognition' ('Hersenen en cognitie') or the Artificial Intelligence course 'Introduction to cognitive science' ('Inleiding cognitiewetenschap'), and the psychology courses 'Brain and behaviour' ('Hersenen en gedrag') and/or 'Cognitive neuroscience' ('Cognitieve neurowetenschappen'). It is also quite possible that this prior knowledge can be acquired in other courses.
Required materials
Wolfe, J.M. et al. (2015). Sensation and perception (4th edition). Sinauer Associates Inc., Sunderland. ISBN: 9781605352114.
Yet to be specified
Articles for the seminars will be announced on Blackboard.
Instructional formats

Class session preparation
Reading the chapters on the topics covered in the lectures (see course manual).

Office hour

Work group

Class session preparation
Reading the articles to be presented and preparing the presentation.

Test weight20
Minimum grade5.5

Test weight80
Minimum grade5.5

Kies de Nederlandse taal