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Why is it that we react to the world the way we do, not only in similar ways-turning our heads in the direction of a tap on the shoulder or a sudden movement in our peripheral vision, for example-but often in dramatically different ways as well? What causes us to gasp in startled fear at sharp sound that our spouse, even though blessed with excellent hearing, appears to barely notice? Why do children twist their faces in disgust when asked to sample the smallest bite of their parents' most recent culinary addiction? How is it that the physically adventurous young person you remember being-the one whose greatest passion was riding the scariest roller coaster imaginable-somehow grew into an adult whose stomach begins to churn nervously at even the thought of such a ride?

The answer, of course, is that each of us-whether a different person or a more recent model of ourselves-isn't reacting to the same world at all. Though the physical world we occupy may be identical, the reality we experience -the perceptions created when our brains combine the input from our senses with past encounters with those same inputs-is very different. And this is true not only from one person to another, but within the same individual, as well. For our various sensory systems can be altered over time, their acuity changing in response to aging or injury, life experiences, evolving personalities, and other factors.


01.Sensation, Perception, and Behavior
02.Sensation and Perception-A Distinction
03.Vision-Stimulus and the Optical System
04.Vision-The Retina
05.Vision-Beyond the Optic Nerve
06.Vision-Age-Related Changes
07.Hearing-Stimulus and Supporting Structures
08.Hearing-The Inner Ear
09.Hearing-Age-Related Changes
10.The Cutaneous System-Receptors, Pathways
11.The Cutaneous System-Early Development
12.The Cutaneous System-Age-Related Changes
13.Pain-Early History
14.Pain-Acupuncture, Endorphins, and Aging
15.Taste-Stimulus, Structures, and Receptors
16.Taste-Factors Influencing Preferences
17.Smell-The Unappreciated Sense
18.Smell-Consequences of Anosmia
19.The Vestibular System-Body Orientation
20.The Kinesthetic Sense-Motor Memory
21.Brain Mechanisms and Perception
22.Perception of Language
23.The Visual Agnosias
24.Perception of Other People-Course Summary
The Great Courses No.1546 Sensation, Perception, And The Aging Process




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