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Peer Review

The Physiology of the Senses: Transformations for Perception and Action

by Tutis Vilis


Overall Numeric Rating:

5 stars
Content Quality: 5 stars
Effectiveness: 5 stars
Ease of Use: 4.5 stars
Reviewed: Mar 29, 2005 by Health Sciences

Physiology of the Senses is a collection of 12 interactive tutorials on the senses and how the brain processes information. The first four tutorials are related to the visual sense, the next two are about how the brain processes input, and the seventh tutorial is about touch. Tutorial 8 is about muscle sense and the next two are about hearing and balance. The Hearing Tutorial has audio. Tutorial 11 is about eye movements, and the last tutorial is about memory. Each tutorial has an animated Flash session, a PDF version, sets of problems and answers, and links to related web sites. The site includes instructions, an index page, and links to download Flash Plug-in and Adobe Acrobat Reader. It was developed for undergraduate honors students and graduate students by Tutis Vilis, Department of Physiology, University of Western Ontario London, London, Ontario.

Type of Material:

Each tutorial contains an extensive, interactive Flash animated presentation, a PDF file covering the same materials, a set of related problems and answers, andlinks to related web sites.

Recommended Uses:

Physiology students can extensively study and review the complexity of normal
human brain functions. Junior/Senior undergraduates in other healthcare
education program may also benefit.

Technical Requirements:

Flash version 6 Plug-in, Adobe Acrobat Reader, and IE. User may have problems if using Netscape, but the site provides information on possible solutions for Netscape users.

Identify Major Learning Goals:

These tutorials "attempt to emphasize the "why's". Why your brain is built one way and not some other way". The student will be able to achieve an comprehensive understanding of how the human senses determine human perception and action.

Target Student Population:

These tutorials are part of a course that is opened to students in honours
physiology/pharmacology (4th year), honors psychology/physiology, or graduate

Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:

Students should have a Basic undestanding of anatomy and physiology and medical terminology .

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 5 stars

Extremely well-organized and complete information on the human brain and senses.The content was last updated in 2004 and is presented in a clear and concise format. While designed as an online companion for a college course, it can stand alone in the delivery of information about the senses. Overall quality is excellent.



Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 5 stars

Very effective learning object for diverse users. Excellent educational animations; concise text, key words in bold; user-friendly navigation; interactive experiments and problems; optional print versions for
each module. The interactive flash sessions should meet the needs of diverse learning styles.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4.5 stars

Good instructions for using the site. Complete learning materials that allows the student to learn using various methods, provides feedback through the
problem sets, and provides additional resources through the links to other web
sites. The site is a very engaging tutorial via interactive animations and problem solving activities


The animated instruction for navigation plays a bit too rapid requiring a second or third viewing; this is a minor fault as the site navigation is very easy without instruction. On rare occation one of the web pages will lack
navigational options requiring use of the browser back button, again a very
minor finding.

Other Issues and Comments:

Most excellent educational tool for understanding the human senses.