Foundations of Sensation and Perception  book cover
3rd Edition

Foundations of Sensation and Perception

ISBN 9781848723443
Published May 26, 2016 by Psychology Press
480 Pages 255 Color Illustrations

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USD $89.95

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Book Description

Do you wonder how movies – sequences of static frames – appear to move, or why 3-D films look different from traditional movies? Why does ventriloquism work, and why can airliner flights make you feel disoriented? The answers to these and other questions about the human senses can be found within the pages of Foundations of Sensation and Perception. This third edition maintains the standard for clarity and accessibility combined with rigor which was set in previous editions, making it suitable for a wide range of students.

As in the previous editions, the early chapters allow students to grasp fundamental principles in relation to the relatively simple sensory systems (smell, taste, touch and balance) before moving on to more complex material in hearing and vision. The text has been extensively updated, and this new edition includes:

  • a new chapter devoted to attention and perception
  • over 200 new references
  • over 30 new figures and improved, more colorful, visual presentation
  • a new companion website with a range of resources for students and lecturers

The book contains a range of pedagogical features, including tutorial sections at the end of each chapter. This distinctive feature introduces areas of the subject which are rarely included in student texts, but are crucial for establishing a firm foundation of knowledge. Some tutorials are devoted to more advanced and technical topics (optics, light measurement, Bayesian inference), but treated in an accessible manner, while others cover topics a little outside of the mainstream (music perception, consciousness, visual art).

Foundations of Sensation and Perception will enable the reader to achieve a firm grasp of current knowledge concerning the processes that underlie our perception of the world and will be an invaluable resource for those studying psychology, neuroscience, and related disciplines.

Table of Contents

1. General Principles  2. The Chemical Senses  3. The Body Senses  4. The Physics and Biology of Audition  5. Perception of Sound  6. The Physics of Vision – Light and the Eye  7. Visual Physiology  8. Colour Vision  9. Spatial Vision  10. Shape and Object Perception  11. Depth Perception  12. Visual Motion Perception  13. Multisensory Processing in Perception  14. Attention and Perception  15. Individual Differences in Perception

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George Mather is Professor of Vision Science at the University of Lincoln, UK. He has published over 60 research papers, 4 books, and 7 book chapters and his main research interests are in motion perception, visual after-effects and the perception of visual art. His research has attracted funding by a number of UK research councils and charities. His hobbies include motorcycling, football and visual art.


"This new edition is a comprehensive, well-structured text that shows how sensation and perception offer immediate and tangible access to the workings of the brain. It is an excellent choice for introductory as well as advanced courses and has the breadth and depth to serve as a basic reference text for all." – Patrick Cavanagh, Harvard University, USA, & Université Paris Descartes, France

"The one clear exception in the jungle of perception textbooks is Foundations of Sensation and Perception. This classic book has always stood out, and the newest version still does. It is state of the art, covering not only the fundamental aspects of all senses, but also all the important recent developments. In this third edition, the effects of attention on perception gets what it deserves: a separate chapter! This book will both prepare the next generation of perception students for a great future as well as educate all those interested in how our senses actually contribute to how we (and other animals) perceive the world. This book should be on everybody’s desk in reaching distance." – Frans Verstraten, The University of Sydney

"We open our senses, and the world is before us, out there. But is it? We have no direct connection to anything out there, it’s all in our heads: vision, hearing, touch and smell, neural codes for what we might call reality. The story of this book is how that world out there gets inside us, from the physics of signals to neural transduction and transformation, and how the organising principles of sensory encoding deliver the computational result that is our perception of the world. This is an eye-opening read, one that is sure to bring the wonder of perception to the top of any student’s ’wow’ list. Accessible and immensely informative, the engaging narrative is accompanied by valuable tutorials that will equip students with a deep understanding of how the sensory brain works and, just as important, how it is that we’ve come to know that this is how it works." – Tim Meese, Aston University

"This is an excellent book dealing covering all aspects of sensation and perception and their investigation by scientists. There is good emphasis on scientific methodology as well as tutorials providing valuable insight into concepts that are commonly fragmented or, worse, glossed over in other texts. I recommend it to all students of psychology who have sensed a gap in their perceptual knowledge." – Amanda Ellison, Durham University