Summer Course Spotlight: Sensation & Perception
Are you thinking about taking Sensation & Perception (PSY2250) this summer? I talked with Meagan about her summer online course…
What’s the most interesting thing students learn in your Sensations & Perceptions course?
There are a lot of really cool perceptual phenomena that students learn about in Sensation and Perception. Afterimages are one of my favorite topics. They can occur when you stare at something for about 20 seconds and then shift your eyes away from the image. You may see a fleeting impression of what you were just looking at, but the colors will be different. Most people notice strong afterimages after looking at a lightbulb for several seconds, but they can happen when you look at all sorts of things. In the course, we also talk about visual and auditory illusions. Sometimes people think of illusions as your senses being tricked, but they actually reveal principles that your brain uses to interpret the sensory world. So, illusions generally tell us something important about how the brain works.
How is taking your course online different from your in-person version?
I’ve been teaching Sensation and Perception online and in person for many years. There are some differences in format. Students in the online course do a lot more writing than the students in the in-person course, who take more exams. But I try to keep the content that I cover the same in both formats. For instance, in the online course, I provide students with recordings of lectures, so that they are not simply learning from the textbook and have content that is similar to what they would encounter in an in-person class.
What one thing should students know before signing up for your course?
This is an introductory level course, so students are not expected to have any prior college courses in the Natural Sciences. But students are often surprised by how well this course relates to other things that they’re studying, such as music, acting, painting, photography, etc. I’d encourage students to look for the connections to their own interests as they take the course, as it will make the course that much more rewarding.