Perception Laboratory

Spring 2015

Warning: This is a dynamic syllabus. It gets updated as we go. Consult it several times a week on line.

Last Updated April 21, 2015

William M. Mace

Office: Life Sciences 212A

Office Hours: Monday 4:00 pm – 5:15 pm
Thursday 3 pm – 4 pm — and by appointment
Phone: X2343


What time is it? (BROKEN LINK)

Trinity College Intellectual Honesty Policy


The syllabus will be linked to Moodle. We may use Moodle more during the term, but most things will be linked to this webpage.

Required Reading

All reading will be available online.


In order to pass the course, you must complete all assignments —collecting data formal write-ups of assigned lab experiments.

Schedule of Labs
Date Reading for lab Topic description
Lab 1
January 20
Introduction — including computer portions on Excel and the World Wide Web.
Visual Angle. Calculating the visual angle of your thumbnail at arm’s length and then using it.Visual Angle PowerpointVisual Angle Excel

Constant Angle to manipulate (BROKEN LINK) in Geometer’s Sketchpad program (GSP)

Constant Size to manipulate (BROKEN LINK) in GSP

Visual Angle.Assignment: Calculate the visual angle of your thumb at arm’s length, the moon, the sun, and your computer screen at a comfortable viewing distance.

Review visual angle data; What does it mean? What does the comparison between the sun and moon imply?

Look at visual angle of objects in hallway at different distances

Lab 2
January 27
Excel sheet with Daycare door details about angles for all distancesSee article by Baird et al (1990) on the Moon Illusion. Author Fuld son

Journal of Vision Assignment for FridayMoon illusion assignment due before class next week.

Class today: [1] Review visual angle with Geometer’s Sketchpad program. [2] Calculate distance to Daycare Center door. [3] Finding visual angles in the Journal of Vision.[4] Learn PowerPoint animation. [5] Review Moon illusion for PowerPoint homework.
Lab 3
February 3
Review of Moon Illusion

How far is it to the horizon?

Learning to program with Matlab and Psychtoolbox. Beginning with exploring the coordinate grid and then drawing shapes
Lab 4
February 10
More visual angle applications: Focal length of cameras

Matlab lab

Scripts with m files:

Script named “MouseCoordsWmm.m” (FILE INCOMPATIBLE)

Script named “DrawFigsOne.m” (FILE INCOMPATIBLE)

Script named “CircleMoveSimple” (FILE INCOMPATIBLE)

Learning to program with Matlab and Psychtoolbox. Beginning with exploring the coordinate grid and then drawing shapes
Lab 5
February 17
Scripts for a full experiment are in MoodleBegin full experiment in lab Finally — we begin an experiment on the sensitivity to squares — of all things.

Method of Constant Stimuli

“Square” experiment

Lab 6
February 24
Review of results of Square experiment; discussion of writing lab report.
Lab 7
March 3
Lab 8
March 10
Simple apparent motion (File not compatible)

Ramachandran and Anstis Simple (File not compatible)

Ramachandran and Anstis Variant (File not compatible)

Schiller extensions of Ram and Anstis (File not compatible)

Wait Till command (File not compatible)

Read Key command (File not compatible)

Apparent motion lab
Lab 9
March 24
Archetype of categorical perception research

Other synthetic speech examples

Collect data
Lab 10
March 31
Discussion of data from bistable experiment

Discussion of data from speech experiment

 Write up speech data as lab report due April 14
 Lab 11
April 7
Binocular vision

Stereopticon (Includes anaglyphs)
Collection of Autostereograms
ASCii stereograms
Anderson Web Site.
Stereo Tutorial PowerPoint — You can manipulate these.

Same tutorial in pdf. Easy to look at, but not manipulable.

 Lab 12
April 14
Try stereo with inexpensive stereoscopes and displays for them.

Begin event perception and biological motion.

Films of Gunnar Johansson

 Speech Lab Report Due by 10 pm
 Lab 13
April 21
Gunnar Johansson and biological motion.

BBC video on movement Beginning of this video is Sverker Runeson research to follow up the Johansson videos. The film, made for TV, was made by Martin Freeth, who is shown on camera as the participant in the experiment.

images from a past senior thesis (TO BE DEALT WITH)

And a different student project (TO BE DEALT WITH)

Return to Perception Syllabus