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Perception, attention and visual cognition

Associate teachers

Ivan Tomić,PhD

ECTS credits


Number of hours: Lectures + Seminars + Exercises

30 / 0 / 30

Course objectives

This course surveys how humans' nervous system gives rise to the perception of the world around us and how it converts information from the environment into information useful to navigate the outside world. At the end of the course, students will have acquired an in-depth understanding of theoretical accounts and empirical findings on visual perception, from low-level to high-level visual processing. In addition, students should gain an improved understanding of how other sensory systems, such as hearing, smell, and taste, operate in guiding adaptive behavior. Finally, students will have learned how different sensory systems interact in order to shape multisensory perception.

Enrolment requirements and/or entry competences required for the course


Learning outcomes at the level of the programme to which the course contributes

  • Explain major historical paradigms and recognize important new trends in cognitive science.
  • Apply theoretical knowledge of the fundamentals of the six core disciplines and their relationship within cognitive science.
  • Apply specific knowledge and skills from selected disciplines constituting cognitive science.
  • Integrate insights, methods, and levels of analysis across different disciplines into a unified framework for understanding the human mind and cognition in general.
  • Critically evaluate cognitive science findings and synthesize information to be employed in a collaborative professional environment.
  • Apply interdisciplinary approach in examining phenomena pertaining to cognition.

Course content (syllabus)

  • Introduction and historical background; Cognitive science and study of perception (e.g., 4E approach)
  • The fundamental problem of perception; Approaches to studying perception
  • Light, optics, and the human eye
  • Low-level visual processing; Early visual areas
  • Contrast and orientation perception
  • Color perception
  • Depth, space, and size
  • Motion and events
  • Higher-level visual processing, face and object recognition; Visual attention
  • Vestibular sensation
  • Proprioception
  • Hearing and speech
  • Olfaction
  • Taste
  • Multisensory perception

Student responsibilities

Class attendance, project, homework, final exam

Required literature

  • Kingdom, F. A. A., & Prins, N. (2016). Psychophysics: A practical introduction (Second edition). Elsevier/Academic Press.
  • Wolfe, J. M., Kluender, K. R., & Levi, D. M. (2017). Sensation & perception (Fifth Edition). Sinauer Associates is an imprint of Oxford University Press.

Optional literature

  • Goldstein, E. B., & Brockmole, J. R. (2017). Sensation and perception (Tenth edition, student edition). Cengage Learning.