This video focuses on the study of similarities and differences in people and other animals in their sensation and perception of the world and how this research advances our understanding of sensory processes, perception, and action. The video opens with the narrator describing how research with nonhuman animals provides psychologists with a comparative perspective analogous to that used by scientists in other areas, for example, astronomy and biology. A montage of researchers, who represent not only comparative psychology (Drs. Robert Cook and Herbert Roitblat) but also developmental cognitive neuropsychology (Dr. Adele Diamond) and human factors (Dr. D. A. [Fred] Owens), reinforces the opening statement. Each psychologist briefly introduces the type of basic question or problem his or her research addresses. These researchers are interested in understanding the basic principles, processes, and mechanisms of perception and action as well as the ways in which the research findings have applications to real-life problems. The video provides examples showing how some of these applications were unanticipated when the research, driven by questions of basic research interest, was first started. The contributions and importance of using animals to investigate basic psychological questions are emphasized.
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