Monday, June 11, 2012

Final Post

This was my first psychology class that dealt purely with the physiological side of psychology. I wasn't really sure what to expect because I prefer psych classes like personality or abnormal psychology. Obviously the material in perception is more difficult but I found it just as interesting as some of my favorite psychology classes. I really enjoyed discovering how complex of a machine the human brain is, and gained a much broader appreciation of how I am perceiving the taste of an apple for example. I also though that it was interesting how although hearing and vision are two different senses our brain organizes them in a similar fashion. Specific neurons will fire when we see a particular face or hear a particular sound, and that shows how malleable our brain is.

The most interesting subject in the course for me was discovering how our brain perceives stimuli through the use of technology. This was more of a running theme through out the book, but for me was the most important topic. Without technology like the fMRI it would be impossible to explain what specific part of our brain is being activated when certain stimuli is presented to us. It would be impossible for scientist to pinpoint the cause and potentially help people suffering from neurological damage without the help of advanced technology. The eye trackers were one of my favorite tools discussed in the book "However modern researchers use camera-based eye trackers. An eye tracker determines the position of the eye by taking pictures of the eye and noting the position of a reference point such as a reflection that moves as the eye moves"(Goldstein 135). Without the eye tracker there is no way a scientist can tell where our eyes will specifically fixate when scanning a scene. It more importantly offers insight into the way humans behave. I think the video below is a great example of how a professional athlete uses vision in completely different way than a non-professional athlete.

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