Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Multisensory Perception

Finally have gotten around to getting a Perception lecture down on this site. It's not that I don't find them interesting, because I find them really interesting. I think they're so cool! But a lot of does go over my head without doing some in depth studying and I'm on the waiting list for the book for the course so...anyway, I'll try and put down something of interest right now while it's still fresh in my mind.

The topic for today's lecture:
Multisensory Perception

This was Dr.M's last lecture for the module. I have to say...she scares the bijeezus out of me. But it's clear that she knows what she's talking about.

Let's see...the brain adapts to its environment. Because it is so able to adapt to different situations it utilizes many different sensory systems to assess its surroundings. And most humans respond better when more than one sensory system is used. For example, we are better able to understand a small flicker in the corner of our eye if there is also auditory information about it coming in as well. But to use this the senses must be localised together in the same receptive field.

I'm going to do more reading on it so I might have some more information for you when I get the book in a couple of days, but there was a study that I was particularly interested in. It's called the Rubber Hand experiment. Basically, you're sat down at a table with a rubber hand. Your arm is positioned and then covered with a blanket to where it looks like your arm ends in that rubber hand. You hide your real hand behind a small board right next to the rubber hand and try and put it in the same position the rubber hand is in. The experimenter then simultaneously strokes your real hand and the rubber hand with a small brush. During this stroking your brain almost "adopts" the rubber hand as a part of its body. The key part of this study is that the experimenter must stroke each hand with the same speed and pressure. But isn't it cool how your brain can do that?

No comments:

Post a Comment