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Saint Petersburg State University

Visual Perception and Visual Illusions

Saint Petersburg State University via Coursera

This course may be unavailable.


Vision is one of the main ways for us to gather information about the world around us and about ourselves. Thus, studying vision naturally leads to new hypotheses on how cognition works. This way, our course on visual perception will also provide you with knowledge on cerebral mechanisms of vision, sensory systems and, in general, on how the mind and consciousness work.

This course is aimed at everyone who is interested in perceptual psychology, in particular, psychology of visual perception. The course discusses different theoretical approaches to studying vision, introduces the most important concepts and experimental results. The material is selected in such a way that the course is interesting and accessible for both students who study psychology and general audience without special knowledge in this area.

The course includes lectures, presentations and graded tests. Each student will be required to perform a small research project to be submitted by the end of the course.


  • Module 1. Introduction
    • In this module you will learn about different theories of perception and classifications of illusions.
  • Module 2. Physiology of Visual Perception
    • In Module 2 you will learn about the physiological and neurological basis of visual perception.
  • Module 3. Lightness and contrast
    • In Module 3 we will discuss physics of light, lightenss (brightness) perception and illusions of lightness.
  • Colour Peception
    • In Module 4 you will learn how colour perception works and see some examples of fascinating colour illusions.
  • Module 5. Motion Perception
    • Module 5 is dedicated to motion pereption and illusory motion.
  • Module 6. Perceptual Illusions
    • Module 6 deals with the relationship between illusions and reality. You will also learn about the relationship between illusions and consciousness.
  • Module 7. 3D vision
    • In Module 7 you will learn how we perceive the 3-dimentional world that we live in.
  • Module 8. Perception and Art
    • Module 7 dicusses the relationship between perception and art.

Taught by

Карпинская Валерия Юльевна, Кулиева Алмара Кудрат кызы, Shoshina Irina Ivanovna and Brian Rogers


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