BCSC 151: Syllabus

Fall 2022

Time & Location

Tuesdays & Thursdays, 11:05am - 12:20pm
Lattimore Room 201


Instructors: Dr. Duje Tadin (Do-yeh Tah-deen)

Office Hours: Tuesdays & Thursdays, 9:30-10-30am (on Zoom)

Graduate TA: Howard (Yuanhao) Li

In-person office hours: Wednesday 2-3pm, Meliora Hall, 3rd (entry) floor, student cubicles, the first section
Zoom office hours: Tuesday 3:30-4:30pm

Undergrad TA: Yao Liu (BCS, CS)
Recitation: Monday 6 – 7:15pm on Zoom
Office Hours: Thursday 2-3 pm, Carlson Library, first floor

Undergrad TA: Helena Bardsley (BCS, PSY)

Recitation: Thursday 3:25-4:40 pm, Lattimore Room 210
Office Hours: Monday 5-6 pm, Gleason

Undergrad TA: Brian Ganeles (BCS)

Recitation: Friday 12:30-1:45pm, Lattimore Room 210
Office Hours: Tuesday 2:30-3:30pm on Zoom

Undergrad TA: Yvonna (Qiyuan) Feng (BCS, CS)

Recitation: Friday 2-3:15pm on Zoom
Office Hours: Thursday 3:30-4:30 pm, iZone

About the course

This course provides an overview of contemporary theory and research in perception, including related philosophical and biological issues. We learn how animals acquire, process and utilize information about objects and events in the environment, covering vision, audition, taste, smell and touch. A recurring theme in the course is the relation between perceptual experiences and their neural correlates. Lectures are supplemented with demonstrations and exercises.

This course follows the College credit hour policy for four-credit courses. This course meets twice weekly for a total of three academic hours per week. The course also includes a recitation for one academic hour per week. There are four recitation times available. You should register for one recitation but may attend any of the sessions. During recitations, TAs will review the concepts from the lecture material and answer questions from students, as well as lead discussions. It is up to you to come prepared with questions and utilize this resource. TA's will not simply re-teach the lecture slides.

Prerequisites: BCS 110 or BCS 111. These are important because this course assumes introductory knowledge of the organization/function of the nervous system. Exceptions will be made only for students who demonstrate such knowledge.


Required readings: Articles from the scientific and popular literature that complement and extend in-class lectures. Students can download these readings online.

Optional Textbook: Sensation & Perception, 4th Edition, Wolfe et al., Sinauer Associates. Associated readings are shown in the schedule below. You can also get the 5th edition of the same textbook. It is a minor update that has the same chapter numbers as the 4th edition.

Changes and rules related to COVID-19

The University is committed to protecting the health and safety of the entire community – students, faculty, and staff. For this reason, it is mandatory that everyone wear a mask in University buildings, especially while in the classroom and other educational spaces. The University’s policy on masking and general COVID19 policy can be found at:


If masking is required, you must wear a mask appropriately (e.g., over nose and mouth), and you must do this for every class session and for the entire duration of each class session. If you fail to do this, you will be politely reminded of the requirement and then asked to leave if you do not comply. Students who refuse to adhere to requirement for mask wearing in the classroom will be in violation of the COVID-19 Community Commitment and will be referred to the Student Conduct system through a COVID-19 Concern Report. Such referrals will lead to student conduct hearings and may result in disciplinary action. Students who feel unable to wear a mask for medical reasons may contact the Office of Disability Resources to explore options for accommodations.


There will be 4 exams and no final exam. All exams will contain multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank and short essay questions. Questions will be drawn from BOTH the lecture and reading material. The emphasis will be on understanding rather than simply recalling course material.

Exams will be during class via BlackBoard (with printed copies as a backup).

Only students who suffer a documented medical or family emergency will be granted the opportunity to take a make-up exam.

NO alternate exams for cases when a student has multiple exams on the same day.

Official university events require advance notice so that an alternative accommodation can be made.

Perception Journal

Each student will be required to keep a “perception journal.” It will have a minimum of four entries and 800 words. Additional details will be provided in the first 2-3 weeks of class.


  1. The lowest exam score is excluded. The three remaining exams will each account for 30% of the final grade.
  2. Perception journal: 10% of the final grade.
  3. Grades are rounded to two decimal points (89.99 = 89.99; 89.999 = 90.00). There is NO "grade bumping"!
  4. A final grade curve will be applied only if the class average is less than 80%.
  5. Grading scale: (note that 94.00% is A-, and 89.99 is B+):
  87 < x < 90 = B+ 77 < x < 80 = C+ 67 < x < 70 = D+  
x > 94 = A 83 < x <= 87 = B 73 < x <= 77 = C 63 < x <= 67 = D < 60 = E
90 <= x <= 94 = A- 80 <= x <= 83 = B- 70 <= x <= 73 = C- 60 <= x <= 63 = D-  

Learning Assistance

Students who require additional assistance with note taking, studying for exams, or essay writing should contact Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning

Special accommodations

If you need special accommodations, please let the course instructor know. We will do our best to provide appropriate accommodations.

Mobile devices

Place all electronic devices on silent.


By taking this course, you can expect to learn about the topics we discuss in class. In turn, I expect that you will respect the learning environment and be courteous to your instructor and classmates by:

  1. using the highest standards of academic honesty and integrity (see Honesty Policy.)
  2. asking for help during office hours or via email if you don't understand something in the lectures or the readings
  3. asking questions in class (if they require a lengthy answer, they may be deferred until after class)

Class Attendance...significantly correlates with class performance and knowledge gained.