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Semester 1

From Perception to Cognition: A Journey in Colour (PSYL10166)







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Visiting students must be studying Psychology as their degree major, and have completed at least 3 Psychology courses at grade B or above. We will only consider University/College level courses. There are limited spaces available for visiting students on 3rd/4th year Psychology courses, so please email the CAHSS Visiting Student Office to request your preferred courses and students cannot be guaranteed enrolment on ANY Psychology courses (unless you are nominated to study with us on a Psychology exchange programme, including a Psychology-specific Erasmus exchange). **Please note that all Psychology courses are very high-demand, meaning that they have a very high number of students wishing to enrol in a very limited number of spaces.** Visiting students are advised to bear in mind that enrolment in specific courses can never be guaranteed, and you may need to be flexible in finding alternatives in case your preferred courses have no available space. These enrolments are managed strictly by the Visiting Student Office, in line with the quotas allocated by the department, and all enquiries to enrol in these courses must be made through the CAHSS Visiting Student Office. It is not appropriate for students to contact the department directly to request additional spaces. **This course cannot be taken alongside Psychology 2A or 2B**

Course Summary

This course will explore many ways in which humans and other species perceive and think about colour. Colour will serve as a sandbox to study how different psychological domains are inextricably linked and influence each other. Colour is perfect for this - on one hand, a uniquely visual phenomenon that arises from computations performed by sensory neurons, while on the other hand, a conceptual and cognitive domain high in social and emotional salience and influenced by language-derived concepts.

Course Description

The following topics will be covered: (a) visual ecology of colour, presented through the lens of an "arms race" between predator vision and camouflage of prey; (b) evolution of colour vision, focusing on individual differences between humans; (c) colour preferences and their relation to biological adaptations and colour-emotion associations; (d) colour terms, through the prism of the universalist/relativist debate on how cognition may or may not shape our perception; (e) new discoveries in colour perception brought about by #thedress and similar illusions. Colour science is multidisciplinary by nature - involving psychology, biology, engineering and arts. By examining several distinct topics in colour science, students will get an opportunity to experience multidisciplinarity in practice, seeing how different disciplines can work together to contribute to scientific knowledge. Through in-class discussions and written assessments, students will also have an opportunity to develop their critical analysis, writing and communication skills.

Assessment Information

Written Exam 0%, Coursework 100%, Practical Exam 0%

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