Sensation & Perception

Jeremy M. Wolfe, Harvard Medical School, Keith R....

Jeremy M. Wolfe, Harvard Medical School, Keith R. Kluender, Purdue University, Dennis M. Levi,University of California, Berkeley, Linda M. Bartoshuk, University of Florida, Rachel S. Herz, Brown University, Roberta L. Klatzky, Carnegie Mellon University, Susan J. Lederman, Queen's University, and Daniel M. Merfeld, Harvard Medical School

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Sensation & Perception

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CLICK HERE to learn more about the NEW Fourth Edition, publishing in October 2014.


Sensation and Perception is written to introduce students to their own senses. Human sensory and perceptual experience is emphasized, and the neuroscientific underpinnings of that experience introduced. Chapters are...


CLICK HERE to learn more about the NEW Fourth Edition, publishing in October 2014.


Sensation and Perception is written to introduce students to their own senses. Human sensory and perceptual experience is emphasized, and the neuroscientific underpinnings of that experience introduced. Chapters are written by experts in each of the sensory systems: by integrating current findings as the basics are presented, the authors impart to students that these are active areas of research. The text provides comprehensive treatment of higher perceptual functions (e.g., attention, music, language) as well as sensory systems beyond vision and audition (including, notably, a full chapter on Spatial Orientation and the Vestibular System as well as separate chapters on Taste and Olfaction). The new Third Edition reflects the growing contribution of imaging studies to the field, discusses applications of sensation and perception to clinical problems (e.g., visual search in radiology), and expands its treatment of modern theoretical approaches (e.g., Bayesian models).

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Jeremy M. Wolfe is Professor of Ophthalmology & Radiology at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Wolfe was trained as a vision researcher/experimental psychologist and remains one today. His early work includes papers on binocular vision, adaptation, and accommodation. The bulk of his recent work has dealt with visual search and visual attention in the lab and in real world settings such as airport security and cancer screening. He taught Introductory Psychology for over twenty-five years at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he won the Baker Memorial Prize for undergraduate teaching in 1989. He directs the Visual Attention Lab and the Center for Advanced Medical Imaging of Brigham & Women’s Hospital.

Keith R. Kluender is Head/Professor of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences and Professor of Psychological Sciences at Purdue University. His research encompasses: how people hear complex sounds such as speech; how experience shapes the way we hear; how what we hear guides our actions and communication; clinical problems of hearing impairment or language delay; and practical concerns about computer speech recognition and hearing aid design. Dr. Kluender is deeply committed to teaching, and has taught a wide array of courses—philosophical, psychological, and physiological.

Dennis M. Levi has taught at the University of California, Berkeley since 2001. He is Professor in the School of Optometry and Professor at the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute. In the lab, Dr. Levi and colleagues use psychophysics, computational modeling, and brain imaging (fMRI) to study the neural mechanisms of normal pattern vision in humans, and to learn how they are degraded by abnormal visual experience (amblyopia).

Linda M. Bartoshuk is Bushnell Professor, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at the University of Florida. Her research on taste has opened up broad new avenues for further study, establishing the impact of both genetic and pathological variation in taste on food preferences, diet, and health. She discovered that taste normally inhibits other oral sensations such that damage to taste leads to unexpected consequences like weight gain and intensified oral pain. Most recently, working with colleagues in Horticulture, her group found that a considerable amount of the sweetness in fruit is actually produced by interactions between taste and olfaction in the brain. This may lead to a new way to reduce sugar in foods and beverages.

Rachel S. Herz is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at Brown University’s Warren Alpert Medical School and Part-time Faculty in the Psychology Department at Boston College. Her research focuses on a number of facets of olfactory cognition and perception and on emotion, memory, and motivated behavior. Using an experimental approach grounded in evolutionary theory and incorporating both cognitive–behavioral and neuropsychological techniques, Dr. Herz aims to understand how biological mechanisms and cognitive processes interact to influence perception, cognition, and behavior.

Roberta L. Klatzky is the Charles J. Queenan Jr. Professor of Psychology at Carnegie Mellon University, where she also holds faculty appointments in the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition and the Human–Computer Interaction Institute. She has done extensive research on haptic and visual object recognition, space perception and spatial thinking, and motor performance. Her work has application to haptic interfaces, navigation aids for the blind, image-guided surgery, teleoperation, and virtual environments.

Susan J. Lederman is Professor Emerita of Psychology at Queen’s University, with cross-appointments in the Centre for Neuroscience and in the School of Computing. Her research interests span both perception and cognition, with particular emphases on psychophysics, haptic perception and recognition of objects and their underlying neural processes and representations, multisensory perception, and sensory-guided motor control. She has applied the results of her research to a number of real-world problems, including the design of haptic and multisensory interfaces for virtual environments and teleoperation.

Daniel M. Merfeld is a Professor of Otology and Laryngology at the Harvard Medical School with appointments at the Harvard–MIT Health, Science, and Technology program and the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Science. He is also the Director of the Jenks Vestibular Physiology Laboratory at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. Much of his research career has been spent studying how the brain combines information from multiple sources, with a specific focus on how the brain processes ambiguous sensory information from the vestibular system in the presence of noise. Translational work includes research developing new methods to help diagnose patients experiencing vestibular symptoms and research developing vestibular implants for patients who have severe problems with their vestibular labyrinth.

For the Student

Companion Website
The Sensation and Perception companion website provides students with a wealth of study and review materials to help them master the important concepts covered in the textbook. The site includes the following resources:

  • Interactive Activities lead the student through important processes, phenomena, and structures (e.g., perception experiments, illusions, and models of cognitive processes).
  • Web Essays expand on selected topics from the textbook and provide additional coverage and examples.
  • Study Questions are designed to give students the opportunity to test their mastery of the important concepts, processes, and terminology presented in the chapter.
  • Flashcards & Key Terms help the student master the hundreds of new terms introduced in the textbook.
  • Chapter Summary Activities provide a detailed overview of each chapter’s contents with a built-in fill-in-the-blanks exercise to check comprehension.

For the Instructor (Available to Qualified Adopters)

Instructor’s Resource Library
(ISBN 978-0-87893-661-8)

The Sensation and Perception IRL includes a variety of resources to aid in planning the course, presenting lectures, and assessing students. Contents include:

  • Textbook Figures and Tables: All of the figures (including photographs) and tables from the textbook, sized and color-adjusted for optimal legibility when projected.
  • PowerPoint Resources: Two presentations are provided for each chapter. One contains all of the chapter’s figures and tables, the other is a complete lecture presentation outline, with selected figures included.
  • Instructor’s Manual
    • Chapter Overview: Provides the big-picture synopsis of what each chapter covers.
    • Chapter Outline: The outline structure of the chapter, including all headings.
    • Chapter Summary: A detailed breakdown of all the important concepts presented in the chapter.
    • Lecture Outline: A suggested lecture for each chapter, presented in a slide-by-slide format designed for use in PowerPoint presentations.
    • References for Lecture Development: A list of references for additional reading on the topics presented in each chapter.
  • Test Bank: The Test Bank offers a complete set of multiple-choice questions for each chapter of the textbook, provided in Microsoft® Word® format. Questions address the full range of material covered in each chapter; both factual recall and conceptual questions are included. Some questions also incorporate diagrams.
  • Computerized Test Bank: The Test Bank is also provided in Wimba Diploma format (software included). Diploma is a powerful, easy-to-use exam creation program that lets you quickly assemble exams using any combination of publisher-provided questions and your own questions.

If you have adopted this text for course use (within the U.S. or Canada) and are interested in the instructor’s supplements that accompany the text, please contact Linda VandenDolder, Outside the U.S. or Canada? Check the orders and returns page for the distributor in your region.

Available Product Bundles

Sensation & Perception PsyCog: Explorations in Perception and Cognition $151.11
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Sensation & Perception and PsyCog: Explorations in Perception and Cognition for $128.44 (Suggested List Price: $151.11)