The McGurk Effect To what extent does interaction between senses affect our perception?

Journals:

Journal #1

  • Kait
  • Group members: Reshmi, Patrick, Shivani
  • Badge leader: Reshmi
  • Jan 31-
  • WOK Badge: Sense Perception
  • "How are sight and sound linked?

Today we read in the textbook and read about sense perception

I learned that the way we see things can actually be judged too fast and we can make ourselves unconsciously jump to wrong conclusions about what we're looking at. Visual grouping can either be good or bad. While your using your imagination it can be good, but if you trying to be factual, it may be bad. Figure and ground phenomenon has the same effect.

Journal #2

  • Feb 3

We figured out a rough plan for our presentation for sense perception. We lan to focus more on illusions and how different people perceive them. An idea we have is to bring in art, and optical illusions and ask the class how they see/interpret them.

Journal #3

  • Feb 6

Our idea for this project is to find different examples of illusions and present them to the class and see how they interpret them. We may also bring in some of the art pieces either Patrick, Shivani, and I have completed this year. We will probably make a power point with the photos of the illusions and present them that way, and then physically bring in the artwork so that the whole class can see the actual piece in real life. We will also explain why people see certain things when looking at the illusions and art, and talk about our own opinions on what we see as well.

  1. explain visual grouping
  2. explain figure and ground phenomenon
  3. show examples of illusions
  4. ask the class what they see
  5. explain why the see what they see
  6. show examples of art
  7. repeat 4 and 5

Journal #4

  • Feb 6

During class today we made a final plan for our project. We completely changed what we are going to do from our original plan. Now we plan to explain the McGurk Effect and how our explanations influence what see hear. We plan to test this out on our friends outside of class and video record their responses. We will put all of the responses into one video and present it to the class. After we show the video we will explain and conclude our results. So the on;y thing we need to do now is to video record 4-5 people reacting to the McGurk effect. We plan to do this at lunch today.

Journal #5- Reflection

  • Feb 8

We just had our presentation and I'm pretty pleased with how it went. We planned who would say what before the presentation so we were well prepared when we did it. I feel like we discussed our results in a way that the whole class understood what our answer to our knowledge question was. We went over the time limit a little bit, but only because we didn't take into consideration the questions Mr. Morrison would ask during the presentation. Other than that, we planned appropriately and executed well and we each spoke enough about sense perception and how our senses work together.

If I could change some things, it would have been to cut down our video a little bit more just so that there was no excess time wasted on empty parts of the video.

Through this process of earning the badge I have learned a lot more about our senses and how they influence how we see the world. At the beginning when we took the quiz, I passed, but still needed to explore the idea of sense perception more. The elective readings that I completed helped me understand how our senses are linked, and not just the separate 5 senses.

When my group originally began planning for this project, we wanted to explore perceptual illusions and expectations. We ended up completely changing what our project was on. We decided to change because our topic was too broad and another group was already doing their project based on the sense of sight. We decided to focus our project on sight and sound, and how they worked together. To explore this, we set up an experiment called The McGurk Effect. We found 3 participants to do this experiment on and documented their responses in a video.

Elective Readings

Why Isn't the Sky Blue?

  • Why isn't the sky blue?- Radiolab

The podcast from Radiolab about a historical poet named Homer. The researcher who studied and talked about Homer is Guy Deutscher who is a linguist. He describes how Homer uses color in his writing in a very peculiar way. He describes objects with the colors that don't match up. For example, he calls honey and a "face pale with fear" green, and sheep "wine dark". Well obviously most people don't see honey as green and sheep as a dark wine color. Deutscher became very fascinated with how he used color in this manner. He went on to analyze when each color was used in Homer's writing. He found out that black and white were most common, then red, then yellow, green, but blue was always last. Why was blue always last? He later found out that blue never showed up because blues not a very common color in nature. No animals are blue, not many foods, and almost no plants are blue. Blue is also a difficult color to make, so there just wasn't enough exposure to blue for it to even have a name really. But what about the sky and the water? Well, those aren't necessarily blue all the time. And even when they are, they aren't considered an object. To me, it seemed that for a color to have a name, and object has to be that color. Not many objects are blue, so therefore it didn't have a name.

I found this podcast very interesting because first of all, I didn't even realize colors have a history of their own. Since I've always known of all the colors, I've never thought about not having them. It makes sense that blue wasn't used back in the 1800's, no natural object was that color. And even if someone had seen the color blue, there was no word for it so they didn't ever fully notice and appreciate it. This goes to show that sight isn't always a sense you can use. This goes to show that sight isn'y always a trust worthy sense to use. For sight to "work" you need a word to associate with the object, or else you eye doesn't truly acknowledge the object. Now that we have many more things that are blue, it's no longer foreign to us. We can distinguish blue from other colors with ease (unless you are colorblind, or depending on the person, how you perceive each color).

This leads to something else I was thinking about while listening to this podcast. I've noticed that I see colors a little differently than the majority of people. It's not every color, but some. For example, I have this shirt that I see as a bright orange, but every other person I'm around says it's yellow. The color of the shirt is not even close to yellow to me, but it's so obvious to others that it is. Its the same for shades of red and pink. Whenever I see something as red, most say it's pink and vise versa. Same thing with shades of blue and purple. My eyes see color a little more uniquely than most.

The Science of Touching and Feeling

  • The Science of Touching and Feeling- TEDtalk by David Linder

This is a TEDTalk from David Linder who is a neuropsychologist at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He talks about how our sense of touch is very important to how we perceive the outside world. Touch is directly linked with emotion. Without touch we cannot have emotion. He discussed how a study in Romania about orphans successfully supported that touch is essential for one's health in the early stages in life. The study showed that the orphans has very little physical contact with others before the age of 2 and lead to many health issues later on in life. Another thing that Linder explained was how our brain pays more attention to sensations on the outside of our body than the ones on the inside. If we are walking along on the sidewalk, we don't the feeling of our clothes moving on our body, or our arms swinging doesn't enter our consciousness. But if we were to stop walking and we felt the same sensations, our brain would immediately notice them. This is because out brain is much more focused on the environment around us. Our surroundings control us to an extent. We react to our environment when changes occur, so that means we have to be fully aware of them, more so than our inside feelings.

Extension Proposal

I think this video should be added to the elective readings because it gives a whole other perspective as to how our sense are connected/separated. In my groups project we explored the idea of how our sense are connected and came to a conclusion that all the senses work together to help us perceive the world. On the other hand, we did not explore how the senses can be separated for others. The video discusses how the senses of sight and sound are separated for children with autism. The gap of time between seeing an object and hearing the sound it makes is too long for the brain to connect them. The way they perceive the world is more challenging because of this lag in their senses. It shows that not everyone's senses are linked, some are more separated. This would be a good elective reading because it goes against what we are used to. It gives us a new understanding of who others see the world.

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