PSY3051 - Perception and cognitive psychology - 2018

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.


Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Organisational Unit

School of Psychological Sciences

Chief examiner(s)

Associate Professor Matthew Mundy


Jake Hoskin (Australia)
Associate Professor Alexandre Schaefer (Malaysia)

Unit guides




  • First semester 2018 (Off-campus)
  • First semester 2018 (On-campus)


  • First semester 2018 (On-campus)


PSY2031 and PSY2051Not offered in 2018 or PSY2061.


The first half of this unit covers sensory, the first half of this unit covers sensory processes involved in vision, audition and speech perception. Coding mechanisms common to different modalities are emphasised to help students understand general mechanisms of sensory coding and perceptual processing. The second half encompasses the acquisition, organisation, and retrieval of knowledge and aims to cover cognitive psychology more generally. It includes emphasis on contemporary research techniques, cognitive architecture, attentional processes, models of learning and memory, mental imagery, language and higher-order thinking.


Upon successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. understand the most important applications of cognitive psychological research and theory
  2. demonstrate an understanding of the practical and theoretical skills underlying several major methods for conducting cognitive and perceptual psychological research
  3. explain the central problem faced by any perceptual system and be able to use this as a framework to think about the evolution of perceptual principles and current theories of perception
  4. summarise the broad principles of perception which apply to all modalities including neurophysiological mechanisms at the levels of receptors, pathways, and brain structures; top-down and bottom up processing, and feature detection, and the constructive nature of perception
  5. describe the sensory and perceptual processes specific to vision, audition and speech perception
  6. summarise and evaluate the major theoretical and research approaches within cognitive psychology
  7. review historical and current theory on basic cognitive processes, such as learning, memory and attention
  8. understand topics related to the application and manipulation of cognitive information, such as language, problem solving and decision making.


  • 2 x Lab assignments (worth 20% each) (40%)
  • 1 x Class presentation (10%)
  • Examination (25% Perception; 25% Cognition) (2 hours) (50%)

Workload requirements

Attendance at online or on-campus laboratory classes is recommended in order to successfully complete in-class activities and related assessment tasks.

See also Unit timetable information

Off-campus attendance requirements

Online lab classes are live (i.e., real-time), web-based classes run by teaching staff that replace traditional lab classes and tutorials. These interactive classes provide students with an opportunity to apply and explore concepts in an active, engaging manner, whilst at the same time developing practical skills in effective communication, critical thinking, and problem solving.

Participation in online classes is required in order to successfully complete the related assessments. Please refer to the specific unit requirements for more detail.

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study

Additional information on this unit is available from the faculty at: