PSY4081 - Perception and cognition - 2019

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate - 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)

Miss Leah Braganza


Ms Eloise Perini

Unit guides


Monash Online

  • Teaching Period 2 2019 (Online)
  • Teaching Period 5 2019 (Online)


PSY4051, PSY4131.


Students can be enrolled in these units using either the GDP course codes (M5013/4525) or the Single Unit course code (3900).


As a specific example of cognitive psychology, 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 of the unit 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. demonstrate the practical and theoretical skills underlying several major methods for conducting cognitive and perceptual psychological research
  2. critique the central problem faced by any perceptual system and be able to use this as a framework to evaluate the evolution of perceptual principles and current theories of perception
  3. critically summarise the broad principles of perception which apply to all modalities including neuropsychological mechanisms at the level of receptors, pathways, and brain structures; top down and bottom up processing, feature detection and the constructive nature of perception
  4. examine and compare the sensory and perceptual processes specific to vision, audition and speech perception
  5. evaluate and critique the major theoretical and research approaches within cognitive psychology
  6. critically review historical and current theory on cognitive processes, such as learning, memory, attention, language, problem solving and decision making.


  • Critical essay (1000 words) (35%)
  • Lab report (1500 words) (35%)
  • 6 x Secure online quizzes (30%)

Workload requirements

Students should expect to spend a minimum of 20 hours per week on this unit to achieve the learning outcomes.

This time will cover:

  1. video lecture materials;
  2. synchronous & asynchronous discussion;
  3. synchronous web-based 'class-time' for skills-based activities;
  4. weekly readings;
  5. weekly skills-based assessment tasks; and
  6. content-based assessment, including revision and formative assessment).

See also Unit timetable information

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