Boris Smus

interaction engineering

Understanding the Secrets of Human Perception (audio)

Excellent overview of perception. I learned a ton from these lectures, and really want to enumerate all of the illusions and experiments that the lecturer cites which give insight into the way our senses work. Lots of in-depth material about our visual system, how we percieve motion, the incredible variety of depth cues, as well as after-images and color effects. Some senses, like audition, were largely review for me, but others, like olfaction and taste were completely new to me. Multi-modal perception gets especially interesting, the canonical illusion being the McGurk effect, but there are many more.

This course is much more than just enumerated sensory illusions, though. The great thing about it is that Vishton spends a fair amount of time on the general principles of operation of our brains, from fundamentals of neurons and synapses to opponent-process theory, which explains a great deal of perception phenomena across the senses. From a UX and VR perspective, the material in this course is totally invaluable.