I try to foster a positive learning environment by encouraging collaborative discovery. My courses focus on the complex relationship between brain and environment, so students often find that developing a personal relationship with the material comes naturally.
With a balance of multimedia presentations and responsiveness to student feedback about course content and focus, class members will find value in the process of scholarly research and the establishment of social relations (collaborations) with other members of the learning community. In my classes, you can expect demonstrations and in-class experiments, in addition to traditional lecture.
You may begin to consider potential future careers that use course information and concepts. By course's end, we will have built a corpus of knowledge that can serve as a reference for years to come.
Sensation and Perception (PSYC 193)
Physiological Psychology (PSYC 109)
Research Design (PSYC 283)
It is important to share the wealth of information and enthusiasm generated inside the classroom with those outside of it. I am currently involved in two outreach initiatives (send me an email if interested).
The first initiative is to educate elementary and secondary school students in the area about neuroscience. This involves class visits and delivering fun and valuable learning stations centered on the brain, the senses, and practical applications.
A second line of outreach involves supporting people with visual impairment at the Community Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired. Here we deliver valuable information about vision loss and the brain and help visually impaired persons reach their goals.
Our sensory systems are bombarded with massive amounts of input each second. While neural mechanisms are finely tuned to extract, process and react to information from the natural environment across time and space, there are limitations — especially when competing information (i.e., clutter) is present.
My laboratory research employs psychophysical techniques to investigate the relationship between perception (mind) and the physical environment in both typically sighted and visually impaired persons.
Some questions my research tries to answer include:
- What are the spatial and temporal limits of vision and visual spatial attention, and how are these limits affected by distracting information?
- How do integration and segmentation of multiple visual signals compare to how similar information is processed through the sense of touch?
- What are the effects of visual impairment on perceptual motor tasks, haptic object detection, recognition and spatial perception (i.e. how does the sense of touch accomplish tasks typically relegated to vision)?
My long-term goal is to apply research findings to inform rapidly emerging assistive technologies, such as mobility aids and tactile maps, for individuals with visual impairments. I hope to serve as a mentor to students interested in such research, and others interested in meeting the needs of the visually impaired community that I hope my research can serve.
My first neuroscience class during high school ignited an ongoing interest in the brain and the myriad of mysteries still locked within. At Fairfield University I studied philosophy, neuroscience and psychology before earning a PhD in Psychology, specializing in Perception, Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience at UC Davis.
The following year as a postdoctoral scholar in the Vision Science Program and Sight Enhancement Laboratory at Berkeley brought an applied slant to my research. Here, my fledgling interest in visual impairment took hold, and I developed a line of research that mimics studies typical of vision research, but in the haptic domain. Now at the University of the Pacific, my goal is to involve motivated students in these continuing lines of research and application to visual impairment and the surrounding community.
Paul F. Bulakowski , Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Psychology
Psy/Comm Building, Room 128
University of the Pacific
3601 Pacific Avenue
Stockton, CA 95211