Sensory Science Research

Participate in our research

Staff, post-doctoral researchers and post-graduate students in Psychology are active in a variety of research projects. Since human psychology is the focus of most of these projects, human participants are vital to our research.

If you would like to participate in our research, please refer to the School website.

Courses

The School of Psychology at the University of Auckland offers a number of courses relevant to Sensory Science and Psychophysics at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. These are listed below, and the School website should be consulted for general details about course requirements and enrolment information.

 

Stage I:

The course Psych 109 (Mind, Brain and Behaviour) includes an introduction to the study of Sensation and Perception.

 

Stage II:

The course Psych 201 (Perception and Cognition) provides a broad overview of topics relevant to Sensory Science and Psychophysics. Topics covered may include visual and auditory perception, attention, memory, and language development.

 

Stage III:

The course Psych 303 (Cognitive Science) discusses some aspects of Sensory Science and Psychophysics to a more advanced level. Topics may include Signal Detection Theory, auditory perception, cognitive and other influences on perception, and approaches to measuring sensory capacity (e.g., sensory evaluation of food; methods from auditory psychophysics), and the application of these methods to non-sensory decision making.


Students may wish to undertake a Research Topic as a course (Psych 308) in addition to their other courses. This typically involves working on an existing project as a researcher and writing up the project and its outcomes in a report. Potential topics include assessing human perceptual performance, the effect of decision-making processes on performance, factors affecting decision strategies, the characterisation of response bias in humans, or testing models of psychophysical tasks.

 

Graduate Level Courses

Psych 740 (Sensory Science) is a course recommended for students planning to undertake an Honours Dissertation, Masters Thesis, or Doctoral degree in the area of Sensory Evaluation, Psychophysics, or Experimental Psychology in general. The content of the course changes frequently. Topics that may be included: auditory masking in noise and quiet, auditory scene analysis and dichotic pitch, Signal Detection Theory and the same-different task, music perception, temporal integration & temporal resolution in hearing, spatial frequency analysis and the contrast sensitivity function, sensory evaluation of foods and beverages, or individual differences in perception.

 

Psych 720 (Research Topic). See notes for the Stage III Research Topic above.