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Sensation and Perception

Sensation and Perception

Experience with SAGE edge

© 2016 | 480 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Sensation and Perception is a cutting-edge, easy-to-understand account of the modern sensation and perception field presented from both a cognitive and neurocognitive perspective. The book’s rich examples and applications to everyday life emphasize such high-interest topics as music, clinical applications, neuropsychology, and animal perception systems. Clear, illustrative diagrams and figures along with an extensive collection of online activities allow readers to interact with the phenomena covered in the text, perform experiments, and gain a deeper understanding of key course concepts. 

Chapter 1: What is Perception?
Introduction: Why is the Study of Sensation and Perception Important?  
Why Is This Psychology?  
The Myth of Five Senses  
The Basics of Perception  
The History of Sensation and Perception  
Applications of Sensation and Perception and Avoiding Collisions  
Chapter 2: Research Methodology
The Measures and Methods of Psychophysics  
In Depth: Psychophysics In Assessment: Hearing Tests and Vision Tests  
Chapter 3: Visual System: The Eye
The Eye  
Anatomy of the Retina  
The Duplex Theory of Vision  
Retinal Ganglion Cells and Receptive Fields  
Refractive Errors and Diseases of the Eye and Perception  
Chapter 4: Visual System: The Brain
The Optic Nerve and Chiasm  
The Lateral Geniculate Nucleus (LGN)  
The Superior Colliculus  
Primary Visual Cortex  
The Organization of V1  
V2 and Beyond  
Functional Pathways in Visual Cortex  
Where does Vision Come Together?  
Development of the Visual System  
In Depth: Blindsight  
Chapter 5: Object Perception
What is Object Perception?  
Top-down Processing and Bottom-up Processing  
Perceptual Organization  
Recognition by Components  
The Neuroanatomy and Physiology of Object Perception  
In Depth: Vision and Animacy  
Chapter 6: Color Perception
Wavelengths of Light and Color  
Hue, Saturation, Lightness, and Brightness  
Additive and Subtractive Color Mixing  
The Retina and Color  
The Trichromatic Theory of Color Vision  
The Opponent theory of Color Perception  
Color Deficiency  
Constancy: Lightness and Color Constancy  
Chapter 7: Depth and Size Perception
Oculomotor Cues  
Monocular Depth Cues  
Motion Cues  
Binocular Cues to Depth  
Size Perception  
In Depth: Stereopsis and Sports  
Chapter 8: Movement and Action
How Do We Perceive Motion?  
The Neuroscience of Vision and Motion  
Form Perception and Biological Motion  
In Depth: Motion Illusions  
Chapter 9: Visual Attention
Selective Attention: Covert Attention  
Features of Attention  
The Anatomy and Physiology of Attention  
Developmental Aspects of Visual Attention  
In Depth: Awareness and Visual Consciousness  
Chapter 10: The Auditory System
Sound as Stimulus  
Anatomy of the Ear  
Central Pathway and Brain Anatomy of Hearing  
Hearing Loss, Hearing Aids and Cochlear Implants  
In Depth: Biosonar in Bats and Dolphins  
Chapter 11: The Auditory Brain and Sound Localization
Central Pathway and Brain Anatomy of Hearing  
Auditory Localization  
Auditory Scene Analysis  
In Depth: Biosonar in Bats and Dolphins  
Chapter 12: Speech Perception
The Human Voice as Stimulus  
Variability in the Acoustics of Phonemes  
The Development of Phoneme Perception  
Speech Perception and the Brain  
In Depth: Hearing Loss and Speech Perception  
Chapter 13: Music Perception
The Acoustics of Music  
The Neuroscience of Music  
Learning, Culture, and Music Perception  
In Depth: Musical Illusions  
Chapter 14: Touch and Pain
The Skin and Its Receptors  
Proprioception: Perceiving Limb Position  
Nociception and the Perception of Pain  
Neural Pathways  
The Neurochemistry of Pain: Endogenous Opioids  
The Perception of Itch  
Haptic Perception  
Vestibular System  
Application: Braille Reading in the Blind  
In Depth: Electroreception in Fish  
Chapter 15: Olfaction and Taste
The Olfactory System  
Olfactory Perception  
In Depth: Acquired Tastes  


Instructor Teaching Site

The following chapter-specific assets are available on the teaching site:

  •  Author-created test banks provide a diverse range of questions as well as the opportunity to edit any question and/or insert personalized questions to effectively assess students’ progress and understanding
  • Lecture notes summarize key concepts by chapter to assist in the preparation of lectures and class discussions
  • Sample course syllabi for semester and quarter courses provide suggested models for structuring a course
  • Editable, chapter-specific PowerPoint slides offer complete flexibility for creating a multimedia presentation for the course
  • Lively and stimulating ideas for class assignments that can be used in class to reinforce active learning. The creative assignments apply to individual or group projects
  • Chapter-specific discussion questions help launch classroom interaction by prompting students to engage with the material and by reinforcing important content
  • Multimedia content includes audio and video resources that appeal to students with different learning styles
Student Study Site

The open-access study site includes:

  •  Interactive Sensation Laboratory Exercises (ISLE) provide opportunities to view and hear many of the phenomena discussed in the book including anatomical diagrams, visual illusions, auditory illusions, and musical selections
  • A customized online action plan includes tips and feedback on progress through the course and materials, allowing students to individualize their learning experience
  • Learning objectives reinforce the most important material 
  •  Mobile-friendly eFlashcards strengthen understanding of key terms and concepts
  •  Multimedia content includes audio and video resources that appeal to students with different learning styles
  • EXCLUSIVE! Access to full-text SAGE journal articles that have been carefully selected to support and expand on the concepts presented in each chapter

This is an excellent book, allowing students the opportunity to explore topics on sensation and perception at a deeper level. There is a lot of real-world application, making it relevant and interesting to read.

Dr Simone Coetzee
Department of Health & Human Sciences, Essex University
October 23, 2017

good online activities

Dr Tifani Fletcher
Social Behavioral Science Dept, West Liberty University
October 31, 2016

I will reconsider this book for the next time that I teach this class (in a year, probably). The current textbook that I use has not been updated in a long time.

Dr Douglas Gillan
Psychology Dept, North Carolina State Univ
September 12, 2016
Key features


  • A unique set of accompanying online demonstrations give students the opportunity to interact directly with many of the phenomena under discussion.
  • Embedded pedagogy, including “Test Your Knowledge” questions and chapter-ending Review Questions, allows students to assess their mastery of key concepts.
  • A full chapter on music perception provides coverage not found in other texts for the course.
  • Chapter-ending “In-Depth” sections that connect sensation and perception concepts with current, high-interest topics help students make real connections between science and everyday life.
  • Free instructor and student resources include e-flashcards, study quizzes, media links, and more.
  • This accessible text is ideal for psychology students with little background in the biological, neurological, or methodological principles that make up the core of the course.

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

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