Sensory Worlds & Behavior of Animals


Have you ever wondered what it would be like to identify an object with sound rather than sight, find your way home by sensing a magnetic field rather than reading a sign or a map, or recognize an individual by an electrical pulse rather than by a face? These are just some of the sensory abilities that bats, bees, birds and fish possess, abilities that lie far beyond the realm of human experience. In this course, we will explore these “exotic” animal senses and learn how they affect and control the behaviors necessary for survival and reproduction.

Course Curriculum and Features

The material in this course about the “sensory exotica” of animals will help you obtain a deeper understanding of the sensory biology and behavior of both animals and humans. You’ll learn through lectures with slides, videos, movies; group discussions, group projects and class presentations; and analysis of research papers. We’ll also take field trips to the Woodland Park Zoo and the Seattle Aquarium.

Designed For

Those with a basic knowledge of biology who are interested in pursuing studies in biology, psychology or the medical and scientific disciplines. Students interested in the sensory exotica of animals or those who want a deeper understanding of the sensory biology and behavior of both animals and humans are also encouraged to enroll.

Attendance and Workload

All Early Fall Start courses require the same amount of academic work as any other UW course, and full attendance and participation is required. In general, each course requires about 10 hours of homework each week.


Joseph Sisneros
Professor, Department Psychology

Dates & Times

Aug 22–Sep 15, 2017

UW Seattle
9:30 a.m.–12 p.m.