Classical Conditioning

In this video I introduce learning theory and the basic concepts of behaviorism. This begins with the work of Ivan Pavlov on classical conditioning and covers the basic vocabulary for discussing this type of learning including neutral stimulus, unconditioned stimulus, unconditioned response, conditioned stimulus, and conditioned response. Don’t forget to subscribe to the channel to see future videos! Have questions …

Culture and Perception

In this video I consider the role of culture on perception. The fact that we must learn how to perceive the world creates the possibility that our culture can shape our perception. I provide one example of this, known as the carpentered-world hypothesis, which can used to explain susceptibility to the Müller-Lyer illusion. The carpentered-world hypothesis suggests that cultural experience …

Depth Perception

In this video I describe the many cues that we use to perceive depth and experience a 3D world based on the 2D information from our retinas. These include monocular cues (linear perspective, relative size, texture gradient, interposition, and shading), motion-based cues (motion parallax and optic flow) and binocular cues (disparity and convergence). Don’t forget to subscribe to the channel …

Perceptual Constancy

In this video I describe perceptual constancy, which refers to the idea that we perceive a relatively stable and unchanging world despite the fact that sensory information is changing dramatically. I explain how this applies visually to size, brightness, and shape. We often forget this learning process because it occurred during infancy, but it is demonstrated clearly in previously blind …

Gestalt Laws of Perception

In this video I focus on perception and how we make sense of the information coming in from our senses. Gestalt laws refer to general principles for organizing and interpreting sensory information. I provide visual examples for several gestalt laws including closure, proximity, similarity, continuity, simplicity, and common fate and suggest some possible ways of applying these laws to other …

Synesthesia: Mingling the Senses

In this video I explain synesthesia, in which stimulation of one sense can automatically stimulate another, such as seeing colors when hearing pitches or tasting sounds. I also demonstrate one way that researchers can test certain types of synesthesia and describe how synaptic pruning is one proposed explanation for the occurrence of synesthesia. Don’t forget to subscribe to the channel …

Gustation: Taste Perception

In this video I explain the process of transduction for taste and how gustatory cells detect tastant molecules in food. I discuss structures of the tongue, including papillae, taste buds, and gustatory cells and consider evolutionary explanations for changes in the number of taste buds over time. I also mention the phenomenon of supertasters, who are more sensitive to taste …

Olfaction: Sense of Smell

In this video I explain the process of transduction for scent; how odorant molecules in the air can trigger different olfactory receptor neurons which then send messages to the rhinencephalon or “nose brain”. I mention the links between scent, emotion, and memory and how pheromones allow for chemical communication between members of a species. Finally I mention the relationship between …

Pain Perception

In this video I go into more detail on pain perception. First I discuss the importance of pain as a signal of danger or harm to the body. Next I explain the two types of nerve fibers which carry different pain messages: A-delta fibers for sharp, intense pains and C-fibers for dull, throbbing pains. I provide a mnemonic for remembering …

Touch, Haptic Perception, & the Somatosensory Cortex

In this video I describe touch sensation and haptic perception, which refers to exploring the world by grasping. I outline the types of receptor in the skin including mechanoreceptors, thermoreceptors, and nocireceptors, and then discuss how signals are mapped out according to sensitivity in the somatosensory cortex of the parietal lobe. This mapping research was initially conducted by Wilder Penfield …