Psychology 763 –Advances in Physiological Psychology
Comparative Sensory Systems
Fall 2003, Location: LP 104 Time: Thursday 1:00-3:45
Instructor: Michael Crognale; Office: MSS 407; Phone: 784-6828 ext 2030
office hours: Tuesday 12:30-1:30 or by appointment.
Content: Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be your dog, cat or goldfish? Physiological Psychology probes the relationship between underlying physiology and behavior/perception. The characteristics of our sensory mechanisms define each of our realities. However, human sensory processing provides a rather narrow, filtered, and highly selected sampling of the energy and properties of the physical world. The sensory systems of many species are vastly different from those of our own. Consequently, the same experience of reality is not necessarily shared among different species. Some examples of sensory systems that humans lack are the electrical field sensors of some fish, magnetic field detectors of some migratory birds, and the sonar of some nocturnal and aquatic animals. This course will focus on sensory/perceptual systems across different species. Just as studying foreign languages helps one appreciate and better understand one’s own language, comparative studies of sensory processes enrich the understanding of our own sensory systems and provide insight into our experience of reality.
Readings will be selected by the professor and by the students. Students will be expected to lead discussion of the readings and topics assigned on a weekly basis. Grades will be based on class participation and quality of presentation. Students will be responsible for payment of copy fees for the readings.
The Psychology Department is committed to equal opportunity in education for all students, including those with documented physical disabilities or documented learning disabilities. University policy states that it is the responsibility of students with documented disabilities to contact instructors during the first week of each semester to discuss appropriate accommodations to insure equity in grading, classroom experiences and outside assignments. The instructor will meet with the student and staff members of the Student Services Center to formulate a written plan for appropriate accommodations, if required.