Teaching plan for the course unit


Close imatge de maquetació




General information


Course unit name: Perception, Action and Awareness

Course unit code: 568393

Academic year: 2015-2016

Coordinator: Joan Lopez Moliner

Department: Department of Basic Psychology

Credits: 2,5

Single program: S



Estimated learning time

Total number of hours 62.5


Face-to-face learning activities



-  Lecture



Supervised project


Independent learning




Competences to be gained during study


-To have and comprehend knowledge which gives a founding or opportunity to be original in the development and/or application of ideas, in research contexts.


 -To have the capacity to apply the acquired knowledge and problem solving skills in new or not well known environments in wider or multidisciplinary contexts related to their area of study.


-To be able to integrate knowledge and face the complexity of formulating judgements from information that, being incomplete or limited, includes reflections about the social and ethical responsibilities linked to the application of this knowledge and judgements.


-To be able to apply information and communication technologies with different goals and purposes (relationship with other professionals, get information, knowledge diffusion…)


-To identify the different techniques of data analysis in behaviour and cognition and to be able to apply them.



-To show abilities in the critical evaluation of a scientific research in behaviour and cognition.





Learning objectives


Referring to knowledge

The main objective of the course is to provide students with solid knowledge on the principles of motor action control and the basic relations between perceptual and motor processes. By the end of the course students are expected to understand the underlying mechanisms that elicit basic sensorio-motor behavior and the neural substrates subserving sensorio-motor transformations. In this course students will learn an integrated approach to Perception and Action grounded on the framework of statistical decision theory. This framework allows to characterize models and mechanisms that account for the ability of humans to perceive and make decision coping with uncertainty.



Teaching blocks


1. Sensory processing


1 Perceptual encoding of states of the World
a. A Bayesian approach: likelihood and priors in the encoding process
b. Sensitivity and response bias.
c. Adaptation processes
2. Sensory feedback and prediction in Perception and Motor control
  1. Forward models
  2. Optimal combination of predictions and sensory feedback

2. Motor Control

3. Decision making: optimal responses

  1. Copying with uncertainty
  2. Gain functions and reward in Perception and Action




Teaching methods and general organization


Lectures will be combined with solving assigned problems in the statistical decision theory in interleaved practical sessions or hours. What is critical is to understand the basic concepts correctly. In order to achieve this, students will experience some of the motor and perceptual phenomena (e.g. adaptation). Students are encourage to bring a laptop to optimise learning in practical sessions. At the end, students will take an exam.



Official assessment of learning outcomes


20 % Class Assigments
80% Exam