Friday, June 11, 2010

Final Project Post

This Perception course was actually interesting. I had never heard of it until this past semester and wasn’t really sure what to expect. Also, I have never taken an online class so I wasn’t sure if I would like it/do well, etc. For the past few years, I have only taken classes at the school, not online. So, taking this online could’ve been a good or a bad thing. Turns out, it wasn’t too bad, even though everything is at a much quicker pace because it is a summer class.

The main topic that really interested me was Sound & the Auditory System and also the Visual Attention (and Cortex). I really just find it most interesting because our hearing and our sight is so important to us. At times, we may take it for granted and understand that without our sight or hearing, our lives would be a lot different and maybe even harder. That is why I feel for those who have a hearing or visual impairment. Although most of these topics that were discussed throughout the book are very important, these were just the two that really stuck out for me. I was really interested in learning about them also because I have somewhat of a hearing impairment. It isn’t a big deal; I have just had problems with my ears since I was an infant and will probably continue to do so throughout my life. On the visual end, I have been wearing glasses and contacts for the past twelve years, so I know what it is like to not be able to see correctly. These are the two main reasons I chose the topics.

I have found two videos that are quite interesting to me. The first one is called “What in the world do we hear,” and that is exactly what it is about- the process of how we hear. A presentation given by a professor at Aston University (in the UK). He goes on to say what research tells us about how our auditory system is normally able to overcome the challenges arising from everyday listening conditions.

In the next video, which has to do with Sarah, a woman who has a visual impairment, talks about how “SAVI,” which helps those who are visually impaired, saved her life. Sarah got diagnosed with diabetes at only six years old. Somewhere along the line, she got mixed up with the wrong things and “took the wrong path” (as she claims) and began abusing drugs and alcohol and also had an eating disorder. She says that because of the constant vomiting, she got a hemorrhage and lost her vision for the rest of her life. Her life has since completely changed, including her own guide dog, who she says makes a huge difference in her life. I believe that SAVI is also located in the UK, but I am not completely sure because they do not say it in the clip.

In an article posted last month by the popular site, “Science News,” ( states that some people who may not seem “to listen” or be able to hear may just have what they call a “lazy ear.” Ear infections and fluid buildup in the middle ear can diminish the incoming sound waves. These problems are mostly common in children and the main reason for children to visit the doctor. Hearing impairments, like this one mentioned, can lead to persistent hearing deficits even after the infection or fluid clears up. A child may never be completely “healed” from something like this. The article also goes on to say that there has been little to no research done to show just how common “lazy ear” is in humans. Researchers also hope that just as a lazy eye can be retrained, lazy ears might also learn new work habits. I tried to find something interesting in the news that was going on in today’s “real world” and because this sounded so much like what I suffered (and at times, still do) from when I was a child. Hope you enjoy and learned something from this class like I did!


  1. While the clip of Sarah was sad, it was interesting to think about all the different things that have to be changed in someones life once they are blind, whether they were born blind or become blind later in life. It is impossible, as someone with normal vision, to think about how many things and people you would need in your life to help you do things that we take for granted every day. This class definitely makes you appreciate your senses.

  2. Renee, I agree with everything you have said. It is very sad for someone to experience a loss of any sense, especially one of vision. To live in a world of darkness and not be able to see anything is definitely devastating. It should show us how fortunate we really are to be able to see everything around us. The technologically advanced society we live in benefits Sarah in so many ways, from her talking clock to her talking computer, she is able to live out her life easier than she could have ever done without these electronics that assist her to function in everyday life.