EGMT 1520: Making Sense of the Senses

Years Offered: 
Quarter Offered: 
Day | Time: 
TR 9:30am-10:45am
Session: 
Fall Quarter One: August 24 – October 13
Years Offered: 
Quarter Offered: 
Day | Time: 
TR 11:00am-12:15pm
Session: 
Fall Quarter Two: October 18 – December 7
Years Offered: 
Quarter Offered: 
Day | Time: 
TBD
Session: 
Spring Quarter Three: January 19 – March 15
Years Offered: 
Quarter Offered: 
Day | Time: 
TBD
Session: 
Spring Quarter Three: January 19 – March 15
Instructor: 
Will you eat a blue strawberry? Or a potato chip that does not crackle/crunch? Do you prefer your morning coffee in a flimsy Styrofoam cup or a ceramic cup? How about sniffing a piece of clothing from 10 different people to find your perfect date? These are examples of how our five senses collaborate in our brain to enable our minds to better understand and perceive the world around us and allows us to make choices. Very often, the modes of perception influence one another on the way to becoming conscious thought. We even sense human emotions by combining distinct sensory clues: facial expressions, hand gestures, body postures, tone of voice, and body odor. In this empirical course, we will try to make sense of our senses. We will unravel how each sense functions independently and then explore how the brain integrates the information into a coherent perception of the world. This includes a neurological overview of how we sense the world around us using receptors that specialize in detecting photons, odor, taste, sound, and touch. This external signal is then converted into an electrical input via the neurons and processed in the brain to produce the desired behavior. Here, the desired behavior is a very personal choice we make in response to our sensory perceptions. It could be as simple as whether to - eat or not eat a blue strawberry! These decisions are influenced by the biological, social, and cultural differences that shape our brains into who we are as individuals and our sensory insights. Join me to experience and explore the world of smell, touch, taste, sound, and vision.