October 29th, 2018 - Sam Hughes Elementary

Dear Parents,

We came to visit your student’s classroom today.  The children were introduced to the five sensory systems (sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell).  Explanations of the demonstrations are listed below.  If you have any questions please contact Eve Isham, the C.A.T. Lab director at eaisham@email.arizona.edu.

Thank you,

Consciousness-Action-Time Lab

           UA Psychology Department




Fun goggles – The students were introduced to goggles which shift spatial orientations horizontally or vertically.  Initially, this disorients the person wearing the goggles and prevents them from acting or performing a skilled action (e.g., grabbing a pencil).  After some time, the person will have adapted and will be able to perform the skills again.


Visual illusions – The students were shown various optical and visual illusions.  The activity is to demonstrate that the visual brain can be tricky.  Sometimes we see things that are not really there.  Visual scientists study these illusions to try to understand how visual perception works.  In addition to the in-class demos, your student received a papercraft to create your own illusion. When done, you will have a very intriguing 3D creature whose head will appear to move and follow you around.  Great as a Halloween display!  Please visit the link here to view an example:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=4&v=ffrBY2Xs1LU



McGurk Effect – The demo illustrates how the perception of a sound depends on the sensory integration of both sound and visual information.  Although the sound is the same, but by changing what you see, we end up hearing a different sound.  Please follow this link if you would like to experience the demo:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PWGeUztTkRA


Virtual haircut (binaural) – When listening to the clip, it feels like you are in an actual barbershop getting a haircut.  We used this demo to demonstrate how we localize sound source.   Please follow this link if you would like to experience the demo.  It’s best experienced with headphones on:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IUDTlvagjJA&t=11s



Sweet or sour? – The students were provided with two juice samples (apple juice) lightly colored pink or green.  For each sample, the students indicate the level or sweetness.  Together, we plot the graphs of the students taste opinion.  The purpose of this demo is to illustrate that visual information (i.e., juice color) can bias taste.  In addition, this demo also helps the students learn how to create graphs.




What’s in the box?  - The students were presented with mystery items in a box.  The students tried to identify those items only by touch (with and without gloves). The activity demonstrates the importance of somatosensory perception on object recognition.



Edible?  - The students were presented with mystery items in a bag.  The students tried to identify whether the object was edible. The activity demonstrates the importance of the olfactory system in survival. 




The students were introduced to some magic effects and how psychologists are using them to study the mind.  Unfortunately, due to the magician’s code, we are not able to elaborate or reveal the secrets of the tricks here J





Please contact uacatlab@gmail.com if you would like us to present to your class!