Graduate Perception (506)

Syllabus (Fall 2005)

Tentative Semester Schedule

Here are some links to onlinereferences regarding perception and APA style writing /referencing that might also serve as good resources.

How do I check my grades onWebCT?

Instructions for forwardingyour titan email to anotheremail account.

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Syllabus for Perception (PSY 506)

Fall 2005

Instructor: Dr. Scharff
EDU 215f
EDU 117c
Office Hours:
MWF 9-10, W 11-12, T 10:30 - 1:00, 3:45 - 5:00, TH9:30 - 12, or by appointment

TEXT: Visual Intelligence: How We Create WhatWe See by Donald. D. Hoffman

There will also be readings on reserve at the library and somereadings given to you in class. Some class announcements andassignments will be sent to you via email. I will use your titanaccount that you are assigned through SFASU. It will be yourresponsibility to check your email regularly. It is possible toforward your titan account email to another account if you prefer(e.g. a hotmail account). I will also send Psychology news updates;these are optional readings unless otherwise noted.

Prerequisites: Nine hours of Psychology, plusone of the following: a course in perception, physiology, orcognition, or consent of the professor.

Objectives and Expectations: This courseshould provide you with a background of psychophysical andphysiological perception research as related to the study of thenormal visual system as well as cases where the system has incurreddamage, or changed due to aging or disease. Applied perception topicsand commonalties with the other senses will be discussed. In order toclarify the material, demonstrations and activities will beincorporated whenever possible. This class will be part lecture, partdiscussion in format. I expect you to come to class prepared byreading the chapter prior to the discussion period, and byparticipating in the discussion on discussion days.

Quizzes: There will be no major exams.Instead, there will be a weekly quiz (approximately) given at thebeginning of class on Mondays, starting on Sept. 12th. There will notbe a quiz on the week of November 28th, due to in-classpresentations. The quizzes will consist of short answer questions.The questions will be drawn from the assigned chapters and readings,as well as from the lectures. There will be twelve quizzes and eachquiz will be worth 20 points. You will take your best ten quiz gradesand add them to create a "final quiz grade". This grade will be 50%of your final course grade.

NO make-ups will be given. You will be able to drop, or choosenot to take (for whatever reason), two of the quizzes.

There will be no final exam; however, the twelfth quiz will begiven at the time of the final.


Papers / Projects:

You will be required to write three papers for this class. Thefirst two will be 3-4 page topic papers that combine an introductionand reflection paper over some practical application of visionresearch (e.g. the study of a particular disease, the study of aspecific area of human factors, etc.). You should introduce the topicand make the need for research in this area clear, partly byimagining yourself in the position of needing such research to bedone and describing your experience. You should include at leastthree references in each paper, but 2 of these do not need to bejournal articles. You will need to use APA-form citations for thesereferences, and include a full reference at the end of the paper.These topic papers will be due at the beginning of class (Sept. 21stand Oct. 19th), and they will each count as 10% of your finalgrade.

The final paper/project will be a focused research paper andpresentation on one of the topics that you wrote about for your firsttwo topic papers. Only one person will be allowed to cover eachspecific topic. (On Oct. 24th, I will randomly select names to getyour topic preferences.) The paper part will be a traditionalresearch paper summarizing the current research on your topic andpotential future directions. This research may be related in anapplied or theoretical manner to your topic. This research papershould be 10-12 typed pages (double-spaced, 12-pt. font) and includeat least 8 references (at least 6 of which must be journal articles);it will count as 25% of your course grade and will be due at thebeginning of class on Monday November 28th.

The second part of the project will be a class presentationover your topic. (On Nov. 21st I will randomly select names todetermine presentation order.) This presentation should clearlyintroduce the area and why it is important to study, and thensummarize the current research reviewed in your paper. You may wantto bring/share demonstrations or "real life" examples to emphasizeyour points. The presentations will be given in class on Monday andWednesday (Nov. 28th and 30th), and will count as 10% of your finalgrade.

References should be in APA style, with a reference page atthe end of the paper (not part of the page count). If you are unsureabout your topic, please come see me. Journal articles may be fromprinted or online journals (they must be archived). I have somerecent journals that are not available in the library, and will behappy to let you access them. Depending upon the circumstances, I mayallow you to substitute specialized text references for journalreferences (please check with me first).

I will also be happy to review drafts of your paper. My reviewprocess requires your presence - I won't be "pre-grading" your paper,but instead will discuss with you your paper's strengths andweaknesses - thus, think ahead and schedule an appointment with me!You must have a documented emergency to get an extension on the paperdue dates.

Attendance/Lateness: Attendance will not berecorded. Lateness to class is a pet peeve of your instructor. Latearrivals disrupt the lecture, which is not fair to those students whodo arrive on time.

Academic Dishonesty: Cheating on quizzes willresult in a grade of zero. Plagiarism on papers will also result in agrade of zero. Any violations will be reported to the dean accordingto the new SFA policy. Please refer to the SFA StudentHandbook/Calendar for additional information on policies concerningacademic dishonesty. (This handbook is also a good source ofinformation concerning other policies and facilities atSFA.)

WebCT: All your grades will be posted onWebCT. To access WebCT, you will use your mySFA ID and password.There are further instructions on the class web page. You will alsohave all your assignments returned to you in class after they havebeen graded.

Remember: If you have any questions over thecourse material or the assignments, please come discuss them with meor with the teaching assistant. (It helps to do this before the testsor assignments are due rather than after...) You may also email me atany time.

Course Grade: The final course grade will bedetermined using the following percentages:

Quiz Total (top 10 of 12 grades) --- 50% of grade
Reflection Topic Papers (2) --- 10% each (total 20%)
Class Presentation --- 10%
Research Paper --- 20%

On a 100 % scale, grades will be determined asfollows:

A: 90 - 100% B: 80 - 89% C: 70 - 79% D: 60 - 69% F: below60%



Activity / Chapter Reading
Due dates / Exams

August 29


Intro / Syllabus / Principles of Perception / Lifespan Issues and Interspecies Comp.

August 31


Cont. / Start Methods

September 5


Labor Day Holiday

September 7


Finish Methods / Discussion

September 12


Lecture (ambiguity, object perception)

Quiz 1

September 14


Lect. Cont. / Discussion Ch 1

September 19


Lecture (depth, illusions)

Quiz 2

September 21


Lect. Cont. / Discussion Ch 2

Reflection Topic Paper #1 Due

September 26


Lecture (brain pathways, Gestalt, agnosias)

Quiz 3

September 28


Lect. Cont. / Discussion Ch 3 (1st half)

October 3


Lecture (retina, simultaneous contrast)

Quiz 4

October 5


Lect. Cont. / Discussion Ch 3 (2nd half)

October 10


Lecture (Vision disorders)

Quiz 5

October 12


Lect. Cont. / Discussion

October 17


Lecture (Attention)

Quiz 6

October 19


Lect. Cont. / Discussion Ch 4

Reflection Topic Paper #2 Due

October 24


Lecture (color, contrast)

Quiz 7, Pick Research Topic

October 26


Lect. Cont. / Discussion Ch 5

October 31


Lecture (color deficiencies)

Quiz 8

November 2


Lect. Cont. / Discussion

November 7


Lecture (movement)

Quiz 9

November 9


Lect. Cont. / Discussion Ch 6

November 14


Lecture (touch, phantom limbs)

Quiz 10

November 16


Lect. Cont. / Discussion Ch 7

November 21


Presentation order, feedback on papers

Quiz 11

November 23


Thanksgiving Holiday

November 28


Individual Presentations

Final Paper Due / Presentations

November 30


Individual Presentations


December 5


Lecture (consciousness)

December 7


Wrap-up / Class Evals / Review

December 16


10:30 - 12:30

Quiz 12

* All quizzes will be given at the beginning of class and take~30 minutes


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