Friday, July 15, 2011

Final Project Post

      This course was very informative and interesting.  The information  in this course provided explanations to a variety of perceptions and sensations that we experience in every day life from a psychological and physiological viewpoint.  The chapters explored the different senses and how they were involved with perceptions.  My favorite chapter was on visual attention.  In this chapter the phenomenon of inattentional blindness was explained which was quite enlightening. Another topic which also involved attention was the topic of pain.  This chapter showed how modern research has revealed that pain can be influenced by what a person expects and how the person directs his attention, and the affects of hypnosis with pain perception. 
     Of course the chapter on perception of depth and size was fascinating, because it went into the explanation of a variety of visual illusions.   Also, I now know when I am in Montana the next time and I decide to walk over to the closest mountain, it probably is not as close as I think it is, due to the clarity of the clear air and atmosphere compared to the North East region's smoggy atmosphere which I am accustomed to viewing through.  The chapter on chemical senses was quite intriguing as well.  The sense of smell in dogs is 300 to 10,000 times more sensitive than humans.  I guess that is why you see dogs leading the way in searches. Dogs have 1 billion receptors compared to our 10 million receptors.  Another reason that dogs are man's best friends.
  Back to my favorite part of  perception and sensation, visual illusions.  My grandfather was a photographer and was very scientific in his pursuit of photography.  He created his own pair of stereoscope glasses, and stereoscope cameras.  He would take pictures with these two cameras mounted together and then develop the pictures then place the two almost identical photos in the stereoscope glasses.  I remember looking through the glasses and the people in the photos were three dimensional.  I was so amazed by my grandfather's ingenuity.  This was an example of how disparity allows us to perceive depth when two slightly displace views are presented to the left and the right eyes.  Below is a youtube video with an overview of visual illusions.  
The information in this class is very relevant to understanding life better.  Imagine that you thought your friend snubbed you as you were walking through the halls of Stockton College, because you saw her stare right at you, but she did not acknowledge you even though you were waving.  From the information in this course you will be able to understand that she probably did not see you due to inattentional blindness.  The information in this course is invaluable to helping people understand themselves and others better.  I think if we are aware of how we perceive the world we can understand one another better and deal better with the circumstances of life.  From this course you learn that things may not be as they actually appear due to a wide variety of stimuli and the affects they have on our perceptions.  

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