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Perception, Planning and Action

University of Warwick

Department of Psychology 2019/20

Module Code:


Module Name:

Perception, Planning & Action

Module Credits (CATS):


Module Convener

James Tresilian, Melina Kunar

Module Teachers

Module Aims

To interest students in the psychology of perceiving, planning and acting

  • the neurobiological basis of perception
  • neuropsychological deficits in perceiving, planning and action
  • attention

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the module, students should be able to:

  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of how retinal photoreceptors transduce proximal stimulation into neural signals and how the central nervous system uses these signals to obtain information about the environment
  • demonstrate knowledge of how the nervous system processes information about the wavelengths of light in retinal images to generate perceived colours
  • understand the nature of perception and what illusory percepts tell us about how perceptual processes work
  • demonstrate a knowledge of the utility of colour, depth and distance information in planning and controlling behaviour
  • have knowledge of neuropsychological deficits in perception, planning and action
  • understand how neuropsychological impairments can help develop theories for intact perception, planning and action
  • understand and evaluate classic theories behind selective attention

Module Work Load

Module Length

12 weeks


Term 1, weeks 1 to 5: THREE lectures per week

Term 1, weeks 6 to 10: TWO lectures per week

Term 3, weeks 1 and 2: ONE lecture per week


Term 1, weeks 6 to 10: ONE seminar per week


Attendance at both lectures and seminars is compulsory

Module Assessment


Assessed work:

Participation and online tests


Assessed work: Essay


Exam: One two-hour unseen examination


Module Reading List

The texts for the part 1 of the module (JT’s lectures) are:


Wolfe, J.M. et al. (2008/2012/2015) Sensation & Perception. Sinauer (any edition will do)


Goldstein, E.B. (2010) Sensation & Perception (8th or later editions). Wadsworth.

Recommended readings will come mainly from these texts. Details of recommended and additional readings for each week can be found on JT’s section of the module webpages

There is no set text for part 2 of the module (GG’s lectures). The reading list can be found on Talis Ps211 reading list. Students will be expected to read a textbook chapter and/or one or two journal articles per week.

Ellis, A., & Young, A. (1996). Human cognitive neuropsychology: a textbook with readings. Hove: Psychology Press.

McCarthy, R A. & Warrington E. K. (1990) Cognitive Neuropsychology: A Clinical Introduction. Academic Press, Inc

Parkin, A.J, (1996). Explorations in Cognitive Neuropsychology. Blackwell Publishers Ltd.

Styles, E. A. (1997). The psychology of attention. Psychology Press Ltd.