CSE6326/PSYC6315 3.0- Principles of Human Perception and Performance in Human-Computer Interactions

Course director: Robert Allison        Fall 2008    

TR 13:00-14:30 CC 335

Office 3051CSE; phone x20192

email: allison@cse.yorku.ca; www: www.cse.yorku.ca/percept

course web page: www.cse.yorku.ca/course/6326

Links and course materials can be found here

Calendar Course Description

This course considers the role of human perception in human-computer interaction particularly computer generated graphics/sound and immersive virtual reality. Fundamental findings from sensory physiology and perceptual psychophysics are presented in the context of interface and display design.

Expanded Course Description (from calendar)

This course evaluates the role of human perception in the design and use of computer systems. The fields of visual, tactile and auditory psychophysics and physiology are surveyed. Fundamental findings on how we perceive tone, pitch, force, light, colour, pattern, motion, texture, shape, and depth are examined in the context of how they can be used in real applications of computer-generated displays and advanced interfaces. The current state of the art will be discussed in terms of the capabilities and limitations of the operator. Selected topics of interest to the instructor and class will be covered in detail, and would include material such as the following:

1. Principles of human perception and its relationship to the design of computer displays - basics of the physiology and psychophysics of audition, vision and proprioception
2. Limits of performance– perception, motor action, cognition, memory, workload and attention
3. Visual displays- realistic image synthesis, scientific and information visualization, virtual environments, and graphic design.
4. Auditory, tactile and motion displays
5. Virtual environments- Enabling technologies, characteristics, human factors, sensory integration, cyber sickness, interaction, navigation, control
6. Training and fidelity in computer-generated simulations.
7. Telepresence and teleoperation
8. Mixed reality and wearable computers
9. Presence, realism, suspension of belief and their relationship to the development of effective virtual environments.
10. Interaction and collaboration between users in multi-user virtual environments
11. Measurement of physiological and psychophysical parameters- anthropometry, biofeedback, performance and usability evaluation


Preliminary Schedule

Here's my tenative plan subject to the interests of the class and demands of time.
Week Dates Topic
Week 1 Sept 4 Introduction
Week 2 Sept 9, 11 VR, AR and advanced display applications.
Week 3 Sept 16, 18 Enabling technology, Perception-Action
Week 4 Sept 23, 25 Visual perception and Visual Displays
Week 5 Sept 30, Oct 2   No class Sept 30, Rosh Hashanah Visual perception and Visual Displays
Week 6 Oct 7 , 9 Visual Displays, No class Oct 9 Yom Kippur
Week 7 Oct 14, 16   Active Vision; Movement and tracking
Week 8 Oct 21, 23   Audition and Spatial Auditory displays
Week 9 Oct 28, 30
Somatosensory perception, kinesthesia; Haptic displays
Week 10 Nov 4, 6 Sensory integration; Cue conflict; Side-effects: cybersickness, asthenopia, oscillopsia ...
Week 11 Nov 11, 13 Mediated perception of self and others
Week 12 Nov 18, 20 Limits on perception and performance; Physiological and psychophysical measurements
Week 13 Nov 25, 27 Presence, realism, suspension of belief. Paper due Nov 27.


Seminars (individual)  40%
Seminar Participation 20%
Term Paper/Project (individual) 40%

The seminars will be critical reviews/analysis of papers drawn from the current literature. They will be presented to the class and evaluated in terms of presentation and content. Seminars will be scheduled regularly throughout the term. Each student will present three seminars (depending on class numbers).

A term paper reviewing a related subject must be submitted by the end of term. I will also consider interesting practical projects. Students must submit a brief (one paragraph) proposal for a paper topic for instructor approval.

online version of the notes

student presentation archive

Seminars, Papers for Discussion

Week 1: Introduction

Week 2: Introduction, enabling technology

Historical VR: 1) Sutherland/Kruger papers and 2) CAVE paper and Project Grope

Week 3: Enabling technology, Vision

Enabling tech, applications: 1) Augmented reality for training (Klatsky) 2) Brain Computer Interfaces see also BCI2000

Week 4: Vision

High Dynamic Range imagery: 1) Larson ( see also) 2) Kuang

Week 5: Vision, No student presentations (Yom Kippur)

Week 6: Vision. Read Chapter 7 in text.

1) Goodale two pathways 2) Blindsight

Week 7: Vision (Depth).

1) Langer 2) Rensink

Week 8: Vision (Stereo). Active Vision.

1) Ware 2) Baudisch

Week 9: Vision (Stereo). Active Vision.

1) Oh 2) Seigel

Week 10: Audition.

1) Kaprolos 2) Zahorik



Recommended text is Gutiérrez MA, Vexo, F, & Thalmann, D (2008) Stepping into Virtual Reality, Springer. The core readings will consist of research papers drawn from the recent literature.

Some Additional Readings:

Some Relevant Journals and Proceedings: